Fears of nuclear hit as blast rocks city in Iran
Published 29/11/2011 | 05:00
A LARGE explosion was reported last night in the Iranian city of Isfahan as the regime issued conflicting reports, apparently designed to deny suggestions of a sabotage on its nuclear facilities.
Officials gave varying accounts of a "huge explosion" in the city, which hosts one of Iran's main facilities for refining uranium in its nuclear programme.
While some sources said there had been a blast on military facilities, others said there had been a fireball at a petrol station. Residents were telling relatives and friends overseas that the city had been shaken by a massive blast in the early afternoon.
Security experts speculated that Iran had suffered another blow to its programme to build nuclear-capable missiles.
Isfahan is home to Iran's largest facility for research and development of ballistic missiles. Multiple reports said the blast did not emanate from the nuclear facility. Alireza Zakeri, the provincial governor of Isfahan, said the blast took place at a military airbase.
"An explosion has happened in Isfahan related to a military exercise in one part of the city and is not particularly any problem," he said.
Gholamreza Ansari, the head of the judiciary in the province, also confirmed there was a blast. There were no reports of casualties.
The incident comes just two weeks after the head of Iran's ballistic missile development programme was killed in a massive blast 25 miles south of Iran. (© Daily Telegraph, London)