Middle East

Israel behind gas pipeline attacks in Iran earlier this week, says New York Times report

Iranian officials have called attacks ‘terrorist sabotage’ without assigning blame

Syed Zafar Mehdi  | 18.02.2024 - Update : 18.02.2024
Israel behind gas pipeline attacks in Iran earlier this week, says New York Times report


The unprecedented attacks on two major gas transmission pipelines in Iran earlier this week were carried out by Israel, according to a report by the New York Times.

The report said the attacks in central and southern Iran early Wednesday were "sophisticated and precise," citing two Western officials and an Iranian military strategist.

The attacks, which temporarily disrupted the flow of gas to cities in central and southern Iran, required extensive knowledge of the country's energy infrastructure and likely involved internal actors as well, it said.

The high-intensity explosions struck gas pipelines in southern Fars and central Chaharmahal Bakhtiari provinces.

The gas pipelines targeted are the main artery of natural gas transmission from Persian Gulf refineries to major Iranian cities such as Tehran, Isfahan and Mashhad.

“The enemy’s plan was to completely disrupt the flow of gas in winter to several main cities and provinces in our country,” Oil Minister Javad Owji said at the time, calling the attacks, "sabotage-terrorist attacks."

Owji stopped short of naming a culprit, however, including arch-foe Israel.

The New York Times report cited Western officials who said Israel was also responsible for an explosion Thursday at a chemical factory on the outskirts of Tehran, which led to a massive blaze.

Iranian officials have not reacted to the report nor have they directly blamed Israel for the attacks this week.

Iran has often accused Israel of carrying out sabotage operations, mainly targeting nuclear and industrial facilities, which experts see as part of a shadow war between the two adversaries.

The latest incident comes amid heightened tensions in the region as the Israeli war on Gaza rages, killing nearly 28,000 Palestinians since Oct. 7.

Iran-aligned groups in Iraq and Yemen have carried out a string of attacks on Israel-bound ships and other facilities in recent months, while Israel has allegedly killed Iranian military advisors in Syria.

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