Iran munitions factory goes up in flames

At least two killed as fire breaks out at a defence ministry munitions factory east of Tehran late on Sunday night.

    At least two people have been killed in an explosion and fire at an Iranian munitions factory, the force of which reportedly blew out windows kilometres away.

    Iran's state news agency IRNA reported on Monday that a factory belonging to the Defence Industries Organisation suffered a fire on Sunday night.

    An Iranian opposition website, Saham, described the incident as a strong explosion and said it took place near Iran's
    sprawling Parchin military facility, which is located around 30km southeast of the capital. It did not give a source for its report, which could not be independently verified.

    Several weapons factories and military bases are located east of the Iranian capital, including Parchin, which UN nuclear inspectors have been seeking to visit to answer concerns regarding Iran's atomic programme.

    Three years ago, Iran said a huge explosion at a military base 45km west of Tehran killed 17 Revolutionary Guards, including the head of the force's missile programme. 

    The UN nuclear watchdog agency suspects Iran around a decade ago of allegedly carrying out explosives tests at Parchin that could be relevant for any attempt at developing nuclear weapons capabilities.

    The UN's nuclear watchdog, the IAEA, wants to visit a specific location at the site, but Iran has not granted access so far.

    Iran says Parchin is a conventional military facility and that its nuclear programme is entirely peaceful. It has often accused its enemies of seeking to sabotage its atomic activities.

    It said the blast was caused by an accident while weapons were being moved.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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