An explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility has killed at least two people, amid conflicting casualty reports. The massive blast is said to have shattered windows up to 15 kilometers away. Reports on the Parchin nuclear facility vary from a non-military site to a location of high interest, specifically from the nuclear watchdog agency, IAEA. Times of Israel reports this is the same facility Iranian officials have denied the IAEA access to multiple times, most recently in August.
Two people died in an explosion that ripped through an explosive material production unit at a nuclear facility near Tehran, according to Iranian press reports on Monday.
The incident occurred at the Parchin military compound, not far from the Iranian capital, according to the Iranian Students News Agency.
The BBC said on Monday that a pro-opposition website was also reporting an explosion at the site.
Compared to what was said Sunday.
Times of Israel
The Defense Industries Organisation, quoted by IRNA, said the fire broke out at the plant on Sunday night but it gave no further details.
The overall damage from the blast in surrounding areas cannot be completely confirmed but reports are indicating the effects were felt from miles away.
Parchin has been linked to Iran’s controversial nuclear programme.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has not been given access to the complex since 2005.
Analysts say the IAEA suspects Iran of experimenting with explosives capable of triggering a nuclear weapon at Parchin.
The pro-reform website Sahamnews said the explosion on Sunday evening was so intense that windows of buildings 15km (nine miles) away were shattered.
The glare from the blast could also be seen from a great distance, the report added.
Isna, quoting Iran’s defence industries organisation, said: “Unfortunately, due to the incident, two workers of this production unit lost their lives.”
It gave no further details.
Last month, the IAEA said more activity had been conducted at the Parchin military base.
The Washington Free Beacon has more on the conflicting reports, including a possible 35 casualties.
Official state run outlets, which often censor material, quoted the head of Tehran’s Fire Squad as saying that four fire stations responded to control the fire and that some were “wounded” during this. These official reports acknowledge that Parchin is a military site, but claim that actual explosion took place at a non-military installation used as a waste storage depot.
Other thinly sourced reports, such as one from London’s Manoto TV, claimed that as many as 35 were killed in the explosion, though no such number has been confirmed.
Other reports referred to a “strong” and “tremendous explosion” that “shook Eastern Tehran” and blew out the windows of a nearby building and impacted about a 10-mile area, according to Saham News.
The report also cites the explosion as taking place near the “Parchin military site,” which has been known to house “high explosives” and other work related to Iran’s nuclear program, according to the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS).
“The Parchin site is among the military sites of Tehran which produce solid fuel for ballistic missiles without any safety rules and precautions,” Saham reported, according to a translation provided by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.
Iranian security forces blocked off local streets and assumed a presence near the facility following the explosion, according to the report.
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