Another unexplained blast has hit Iranian natural gas pipelines, a recent Reuters report has revealed. In what is a suspicious and growing rate of similar incidents, the latest explosion has ripped through three major lines in the Iranian province of Qom, disrupting gas delivery from the country’s southern refineries.
Deputy oil minister, Javad Owji, who directs the government-run National Iranian Gas Company (NIGC), said his office has sent special teams to the region to investigate and repair damages. But missing from Tehran’s report on the latest incident are ANY comments on what caused the blast, which has halted the supply of 250 million cubic meters of natural gas to the country’s northern provinces. The crisis comes after an almost identical February incident in the same region, which regime officials will only declare “was not the result of technical malfunction.”
Given the growing rate of these events over the last year, their documented similarities, and the Iranian regime’s continued failure to explain their causes and connections, it’s becoming increasingly possible that they are deliberate acts of sabotage.
Colin Coughlin, the Telegraph’s executive foreign editor, is convinced, and suggested last year in his article Who’s blowing up Iran’s gas pipelines?, that CIA clandestine operations aimed at destabilize the Iranian regime are a leading explanation. Though others have vaguely pinned both Kurdish rebels and the always-popular target of Mossad as additionally possible culprits, analysts have very little to work with given the considerably murky information coming out of Iran related to these events and the very high potential for disinformation on all fronts.
So, what’s your take?