Two Iranian Pipelines Explode, Several Officials Blame Israel

Two of Iran’s major natural gas pipelines exploded on Wednesday, affecting two major provinces. According to the New York Times, Israel is accused of being behind what is being called “sabotage.”

The explosion affected the Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Fars provinces on Wednesday morning.

“The level of impact was very high because these are two significant pipelines going south to north,” Kpler senior energy analyst Homayoun Falakshahi told the New York Times. “We have never seen anything like this in scale and scope.”

While some stated that the explosion was an accident, other officials told the New York Times that it was a deliberate attack by Israel. Saeed Aghli, the manager of Iran’s gas network control center described the incident as “sabotage and terrorist attacks.”

Iran’s Oil Minister Javad Owji compared the attacks to those of 2011 when the country’s pipelines were also targeted by an unknown culprit.

“The enemy’s plan was to completely disrupt the flow of gas in winter to several main cities and provinces in our country,” Owji said, not directly mentioning Israel.

According to Western and Iranian officials, the attacks required precise knowledge about Iran’s infrastructure, since they were targeted simultaneously in multiple locations.

One Western official told the New York Times that the damage was minimal to civilians and easy to repair but appeared to send a clear message that Israel could allegedly deliver deadly force if necessary.

“This shows that the covert networks operating in Iran have expanded their target list and advanced beyond just military and nuclear sites,” Shahin Modarres, a security analyst focused on the Middle East, told the Times. “It’s a major challenge and reputation blow for Iran’s intelligence and security agencies.”

Repairing the pipelines would take days and will require shutting the gas off, leaving millions without heat during the winter.

The accusations come after tension between Israel and Iran began to escalate. Last month, Iran accused Israel of killing a spy chief, along with three of the country’s top Revolutionary Guards in Syria. Iran’s support for the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas has also caused conflict.

Israel has yet to comment on the allegations.