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Iran blames 'sabotage' for gas pipeline explosions

February 14, 2024

Two blasts hit Iran's main gas pipeline in what the government called a "terrorist act." Iranian officials did not immediately point the finger at the attackers.

A large fire from the pipeline explosion near the town of Borujen, Iran
Flames from the pipeline explosions could be from a great distanceImage: Reza Kamali Dehkordi/Fars News Agency/AP/dpa/picture alliance

Iran's Oil Minister Javad Owji said two explosions along Iran's main south-north gas pipeline network were caused by sabotage. But his televised statement made no mention of possible suspects.

"This terrorist act of sabotage occurred at 1 a.m. local time on Wednesday morning (2130 GMT Tuesday evening) in the network of national gas transmission pipelines in two regions of the country," Owji on Thursday.

He added that only the villages near the damaged pipeline were experiencing gas outages and that those would be fixed later today. Iranian authorities denied reports that the incident caused gas cuts to industrial plants and offices.

Owji pointed to a similar incident in 2011, which he called an act of sabotage, that temporarily cut gas to four different regions of the country.

What do we know about explosions?

According to the National Iranian Gas Company, the saboteurs attacked pipelines in the cities of Borujen in the southwestern provinces of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari, and Safashahr in the southern province of Fars. Company manager Saeed Aghli said there were no casualties.

Authorities said the ensuing fires were under control in both cases.

No group claimed responsibility for the attacks, and Iranian officials did not immediately assign blame.

In 2017, Iranian Arab separatists claimed to have bombed two oil pipelines in coordinated attacks in the western Khuzestan region. Iran has also generally blamed agents of its arch-foe Israel for similar acts of sabotage in the past.

dh/dj (AFP, dpa, Reuters)