Parchin is the name of a village located about 19 miles southeast of Tehran, capital of Iran. It also carries the name of a huge military complex which is considered the biggest in Iran. It is owned by Defense Industries Organization and consists of hundreds of buildings including test sites. There are missiles, high explosives, rockets and ammunition factories, and R&D sites in the complex. It first came to international focus in 2004 when Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) said the site is possibly used for nuclear activities of Islamic Republic. Although this claim was denied by the Islamic regime but to show of good faith, UN inspectors were allowed to visit the site in 2005 but not the entire complex. In 2011, an IAEA report indicated Islamic Republic had built a huge containment chamber in 2000.
Since then Parchin has always been part of Iran’s nuclear talks. Iran allowing IAEA inspectors once and denying them access the next time became a routine stalling tactic by Islamic Republic to reach an agreement with the watchdog. It was reported Islamic Republic has scrubbed the site before inspections, “there is new activities on site”,…The height of tensions was in April 2018, when Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel PM, revealed a bunch of documents from Parchin showing its research facilities, AMAD project details,…
The massive explosion at Parchin on June 26 early hours, around 12:20AM local time, brought its name to the forefront and all media outlets covered the story. However, this was not the first one! Islamic Republic’s response to the incident had nothing new in it either, as usual, an “accident” with no casualties. But as Ian Fleming may say, once is a happenstance, twice is a coincidence, third time is “enemy action”. The “accident” on Friday was the fourth major one in the past 13 years in military bases in Iran.
The first one happened in November 2007 in Parchin. Fire Department stated “It was a fire at the waste and tire warehouse, not the military site. Four fire stations were involved in extinguishing the fire which had 4 people with minor injuries.” The second one was on November 12, 2011 in Shahriar military base owned by IRGC. The explosion was so massive that was heard across Tehran and 17 people including the “architect” of Iran’s missile program, Hassan Moghaddam, were killed. Authorities said the explosion was an “accident” while they were transporting highly volatile munitions. There were rumors of Mossad involvement in the incident but later denied.
3 years later, in October 2014, a huge explosion rocked the area. According to New York Times, 2 went missing in an “enormous orange flash that illuminated Tehran.” This time, no surprise, was another “accident” happening during an “ordinary fire” caused by “chemical reactions of flammable material.” This brings us to June 26, 2020, when at first it was reported by social media users, videos poured in from different areas of Tehran showing the same exact “enormous orange flash that illuminated Tehran” in truest sense of the word. Again, Defense Ministry’s Spokesman said, “There was an accident in an industrial gas tank. It happened in the “public area” which wasn’t part of the military site. There was no casualty and it was put out quickly. The cause will be investigated.” They aired a quick TV report with video from the area and the tanks. However, there is much doubt about the “official” cause of this enormous “accident” for many reasons.
First off, the blast was so massive, loud and bright that illuminated the whole Tehran’s sky. The color of the flames doesn’t match one with gas! A simple explosion of a gas tank could not explain it. Secondly, the size of explosion doesn’t add up. In the video aired on IRIB, it shows 3 gas tanks, a few damaged pieces of metals and pipes but in a contained area, and the gas tanks holding 15,000 liters of gas which supposedly created the explosion were all relatively intact. However, the satellite images show a different story, a huge area in Parchin military complex burning. Additionally, why was IRIB the only media who was allowed to cover the “story” with one reporter and one camera?! Thirdly, as they say, location location location! Again, the satellites show a totally different location compared to what the officials claim. In a comparison, the blast area looks like a warehouse of some sort and not in the “mountainous area” as the Ministry Spokesman claims.
Israeli sources claim it could have been a cyber attack from Israel causing the blast following the recent cyber war the two countries had. They also have connected Shiraz’s transformer fire that blacked out big parts of the city on the same day that Parchin explosion occurred to cyber attack by Israeli forces. In response to these claims, a journalist close to IRGC tweeted:
“Israeli accounts say the gas tank explosion near a military base in Tehran has been a result of Israel’s cyber attack. If we reach the same outcome in our investigation that it’s been Israel’s action, like how head of Israel’s National Cyber Center has said, we’ll bring them the cyber winter, “even earlier than they think.””
And last but not least, if all these incidents haven’t been work of a foreign agency, how come a super secret military base has so many “accidents”?! If this massive explosion with worldwide coverage wasn’t an accident, what was its nature, a cyber attack?! With 41 years history of “official” statements as a cover for pure lies, the biggest and most recent ones, killing protesters in November 2019 protests, denying PS752 downing by IRGC missiles which killed 176 innocent, and covering up, lying and engineering COVID-19 daily stats, how can anybody believe anything “officials” say?!