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From Bad, to Worse, to Worser in Iran

David Wurmser
SOURCECenter for Security Policy

The world has focused over the last week on a series of explosions and  fires in Iran’s major infrastructure and weapons programs, starting with two events on June 26:  a major explosion in the Khojir missile factory near Tehran and a power plant explosion in Shiraz which plunged the city into darkness.  For more on these two incidents on June 26, see: https://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2020/06/29/situation-report-the-curious-blasts-in-irans-parchin-and-shiraz-areas

And yet, over the last two days (July 5th and 6th), more information has leaked out of Iran on social media suggesting there were as yet unreported incidents, as well as some unrest as well in Iran in the same period:

  • Also on July 3, a major warehouse of unknown goods in Salmas (near Tehran) was heavily damaged in a major fire as well. The video is here: https://twitter.com/HeshmatAlavi/status/1279148173655707650 . Like the fires on July 2 and 3 in Shiraz, this fire too was not reported in Iran’s media.

At this point, it is unclear what can be made out of these events, all falling so close to one another, but they can be categorized as follows:

It is impossible to know for sure what is going on, but the incidents in the military sites (Khojir and Natanz) were clearly attacks either by or with the assistance of a foreign power.  The rest appear to be part of a concerted campaign to either hits sites about which we know nothing or to expose the regime’s impotence – or both.  Regardless, it remains to be seen what the relationship could be, if any, to the military attacks, but this string of events carries grave repercussions for the regime’s resilience, since it is now seen as plagued by incompetent impotence.

Dr. David Wurmser is Director of the Center for Security Policy’s Project on Global Anti-Semitism and the US-Israel Relationship. He is a former U.S. Navy Reserve intelligence officer with extensive national security experience working for the State Department, the Pentagon, Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council. This article first appeared on the Center for Security Policy’s website.