New information was released about the “giant explosion” that occurred in the vicinity of Iran’s capital, Tehran, on Friday, causing structural damage to some buildings without causing harm.
And pictures taken by the European satellite “Sentinel 2” that the explosion occurred in a mountainous area east of the capital, which analysts believe contains a network of underground tunnels to store weapons and missile production sites, and may be related to Iran’s nuclear activity.
The explosion, which occurred early Friday, caused a huge mass of fire to rise in the sky, which was seen by a large number of Tehran residents, and it was accompanied by a powerful explosion that shook the capital.
The American “Fox News” network published a picture of the post-explosion satellites, showing a charred black area caused by a huge fire at the site of the explosion, while this black spot was not present before it occurred.
Although the nature of the explosion was not yet clear, the unusual response to the Iranian authorities after the explosion confirmed the sensitive nature of the area where the explosion occurred, as international inspectors believe that Iran conducted high-explosive tests two decades ago in the same area.
The blast shook the homes of some apartment buildings in Tehran and smashed their windows, and Iranian state television later broadcast a video of what it described as the “explosion site”.
A government television broadcast appeared in front of what seems to be large black gas cylinders, while a spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Defense, Daoud Abdi, said that the explosion was caused by a gas leak, adding that the explosion “did not kill anyone.”
Abdi described the site as a “public area”, which raised questions about why military officials, not civilian firefighters, were responsible for putting out the fire caused by the explosion.
“The explosion appeared to have hit the Shahid Bakir Industrial Complex, which makes solid-fuel missiles,” said Fabian Haines, a researcher at the James Martin Center for Nuclear Non-Proliferation Studies in California.
The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies confirmed that the explosion occurred at the “Khojir site”, explaining that it is “a site for many tunnels suspected of being used to store weapons.”
Satellite imagery showed the presence of large industrial buildings on the site, believed to be used to collect and store the missiles.
The Defense Intelligence Agency says Iran has the largest underground weapons storage program in the Middle East.
Iranian officials said that the explosion occurred in the Parchin region, which is the home of an Iranian military base, and the International Atomic Energy Agency suspects that Iran has conducted tests on explosive gases that can be used in nuclear weapons.