Iran's Oil Minister Javad Owji

Iran Accuses Israel Of Attack On Gas Pipelines

Wednesday, 02/21/2024

Iran's Oil Minister Javad Owji has blamed Israel for last week's attack on Iranian gas pipelines amid an ongoing shadow war between the two nations.

The attack, initially labeled by Owji as a "terrorist act of sabotage," targeted Iran's primary south-north gas pipeline network and resulted in two explosions on February 14.

Owji disclosed, "The enemy intended to disrupt households' gas supplies... but within two hours our colleagues worked to counter the Israeli plot which only damaged several pipes."

Israel's track record of targeting Iran's military and nuclear installations, including cyberattacks on the oil ministry's servers, has long been highlighted. However, the attack on a segment of Iran's energy infrastructure, crucial to industries and factories, is perceived as an escalation in the clandestine conflict, according to officials and analysts. The office of Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has not commented.

Western officials say the gas pipeline attacks attributed to Israel necessitated a profound understanding of Iran’s infrastructure and meticulous coordination, especially since two pipelines were struck across multiple locations simultaneously.

Despite Iran's denial of direct involvement in attacks against Israel and the United States, the nation's support for and arming of proxy militias actively engaged in conflicts involving both countries, such as the Houthis in Yemen, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and militants in Iraq and Syria, has been underscored. Iran has also been implicated in supporting Hamas and other Palestinian factions.

In December, a hacking group, alleged by Iran to be affiliated with Israel, claimed accountability for a cyber assault that crippled almost 70% of Iran's fuel stations.

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