Blast At Iran's Sensitive Parchin Military Complex Kills One Engineer

Thursday, 05/26/2022

An explosion in one of the research centers at Iran’s Parchin military complex near the capital Tehran has killed one engineer and injured another employee.

Fars news agency, close to Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, cited the Defense Ministry on Thursday that investigations into the cause of the Wednesday evening “industrial accident” were underway.

“On Wednesday evening, in an accident that took place in one of the research units of the Defense Ministry in the Parchin area, engineer Ehsan Ghadbeigi was martyred and one of his colleagues injured,” the ministry said.

The ministry did not elaborate on the accident or provide further details, but identified the engineer who died as Ehsan Ghadbeigi. IntelliTimes blog said that he specialized in mechanical engineering at Sheriff University and worked in materials-related fields, that could integrate with Iran's missile or nuclear programs.

Located 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Tehran, Parchin is a sensitive military site housing several industrial and research units, where Western security services believe Iran carried out tests related to nuclear bomb detonations more than a decade ago. It is also closely linked with the Khojir missile production complex.

The International Atomic Energy Agency previously said it suspected Iran conducted tests of explosive triggers that could be used in nuclear weapons at the site.

In 2015, Tehran allowed the UN nuclear watchdog to take environmental samples at the military site to make an assessment of "possible military dimensions" of the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program.

Iran’s missile and space programs have suffered a series of mysterious explosions in recent years. In 2020, a giant explosion occurred in the area of Parchin at a gas storage facility, rattling the capital and sending a massive fireball into the sky near Tehran.

Iran has accused Israel of carrying out several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear program and of killing its nuclear scientists over the past years.

Last April, Natanz nuclear facility in the central province of Esfahan was hit by what Iran described as "sabotage" a day after it unveiled feeding gas to several centrifuges. A blackout that seemed to have been caused by a deliberately planned blast hit the nuclear facility, causing damage to the electrical distribution grid.

Iranian officials, including the then-head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, Ali Akbar Salehi, as well as several Israeli media said this operation was a cyber-attack carried out by the Mossad intelligence service.

"Condemning this despicable move, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the need for the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency to deal with this nuclear terrorism," Salehi said, adding that "Iran reserves the right to take action against the perpetrators."

Israel publicly rejected to confirm or deny any responsibility for the incident. The attack included a cyber-warfare known as the Olympic Games that involved the use of the Stuxnet computer virus, destroying hundreds of centrifuges.

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