At Least Seven Ships Caught Fire at Southern Iranian Port, Local Media Reports

Incident comes amid several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities in recent months

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A screen grab taken from a from Iranian State TV IRIB on July 15, 2020, shows firefighters combatting a blaze at the Delvar Kashti Bushehr boat factory in the Iranian city of Bushehr.
A screen grab taken from a from Iranian State TV IRIB on July 15, 2020, shows firefighters combatting a blaze at the Delvar Kashti Bushehr boat factory in the Iranian city of Bushehr.Credit: AFP

At least seven ships have caught fire at the Iranian port of Bushehr, the Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday, in what appeared to be the latest in a series of unexplained incidents around nuclear and industrial installations since late June.

No casualties have been reported, the agency said.

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Plumes of dense black smoke billowed into the air, in a photograph of the incident published by the official IRNA news agency. State broadcaster IRIB showed fighters tackling clouds of smoke at a shipyard at the southern port on the Gulf.

There have been several explosions and fires around Iranian military, nuclear and industrial facilities since late June, including a fire at Iran's underground Natanz nuclear facility, the centerpiece of the country's uranium enrichment programme, which authorities said had caused significant damage. 

In an article in early July, state news agency IRNA addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States, although it stopped short of accusing either directly. Israel's defense minister said on July 5 his country was not "necessarily" behind every mysterious incident in Iran.

On Friday, an explosion was heard in western Tehran, the official IRIB news agency reported, citing online reports.

IRIB did not provide any additional information about the cause of the blast or possible casualties. Electricity was cut in the area of the explosion in suburbs west of Tehran, IRIB reported.

In addition, two people were killed in an explosion at a factory in the south of Tehran, IRNA reported on Tuesday. Also last week, 19 people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of Tehran, which an official said was caused by a gas leak.

On June 26, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base that authorities said was caused by a leak at a gas storage facility in an area outside the base.

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