A fire broke out at an Iranian defense site near Tehran on Thursday, constituting the latest in a series of mysterious incidents in the country amid tensions with the United States and Israel.

The fire occurred north of the capital, Tehran, at a car battery factory owned by Iran’s Defense Ministry. There were no injuries, The Associated Press reported, citing Iranian state television.

Images circulated on Twitter, showing significant black smoke billowing from the purported site. Iranian outlets confirmed the incident but did not provide details on the cause of the fire.

#BREAKING: Fire or explosion in Tehran. Video coming in below. This is third such incident in days, especially in MODAFL facilities in #Iran. pic.twitter.com/hACqDArlFK
— Jason Brodsky (@JasonMBrodsky) September 28, 2023

The incident follows another fire at a Defense Ministry battery warehouse in Tehran last Friday. Al-Monitor was unable to confirm whether the two fires occurred at precisely the same spot.

Locals also heard a loud sound in Khorramabad in western Iran on Monday. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has an underground missile base in the area, but the IRGC denied an explosion occurred, according to Iran International.

Why it matters: Mysterious explosions, fires and related incidents are relatively common in Iran. Perhaps the most notable incident happened in 2021 when the Natanz nuclear facility was targeted with an electricity blackout. A year earlier, an explosion and fire occurred at the facility.

Iran often accuses Israel of plotting attacks in the country, including the 2021 Natanz incident. In late August, Iran claimed it foiled an Israeli plot against its missile operations and dismantled “Zionist” cells.

Israel likewise blames Iran for attempted attacks. Earlier this month, Mossad head David Barnea said Israel has had 27 attempted attacks by Iran on Israelis and Jewish targets around the world in the past year.

The recent fires are also occurring at a time of high tensions between Iran and the United States. Iran has seized several oil tankers in the Gulf for alleged smuggling, a response to US efforts to enforce sanctions on Iran’s oil industry. In July, the US Navy said it thwarted attempts by Iran to seize two tankers in the Gulf of Oman.

Last month, thousands of US military personnel arrived in the Red Sea in response to rising tensions with Iran.

Source » al-monitor