An explosion and ensuing fire injured at least nine people in a chemical and fireworks factory in Iran’s central province of Isfahan early on Sunday, Iranian state media reported.
According to The Guardian, the factory was producing drones, and the blast occurred days after Israel accused Tehran of supplying drones to Hamas in Gaza. The Iranian news agency Mehr meanwhile quoted a source as saying that the cause of the explosion was under investigation.
After Gaza, an Israeli-Palestinian struggle for identity: Aluf Benn, Noa Landau and Anshel Pfeffer
The Guardian reported that the Iran Aircraft Manufacturing Industrial Company, which produces a variety of planes and drones for Iranian and pro-Iranian forces is located within a petrochemical factory complex in Isfahan where the fire broke out following the explosion.
On Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu displayed to foreign diplomats parts of a drone that was downed two days prior that he said was made by Iran and flown over from Iraq or Syria.
Meanwhile, Iran’s parliament speaker said on Sunday that a three-month monitoring deal between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog had expired as of May 22, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency reported. “From May 22 and with the end of the three-month agreement, the agency will have no access to data collected by cameras inside the nuclear facilities agreed under the agreement,” Fars quoted Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf as saying.
Under what is called an “Additional Protocol” with Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency “collects and analyzes hundreds of thousands of images captured daily by its sophisticated surveillance cameras,” the agency said in 2017. The agency also said then that it had placed “2,000 tamper-proof seals on nuclear material and equipment.”The IAEA said this week it was in talks with Tehran on how to proceed with the monitoring deal.