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Video: At least 7 Iranian ships on fire; latest in pattern of unexplained fires

firefighters attempt to put out a fires that spread to seven ships in Bushehr, Iran on July 15, 2020. (Iran fires / Released)
July 15, 2020

At least seven ships were on fire at the Iranian port of Bushehr Wednesday.

The news of the ship fires was first reported by Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, and later reported by Reuters. Initial reports indicated three ships were on fire at the Iranian port, but updated reporting indicated the fire had spread to at least seven ships. The ship fires in Iran follow a pattern of unexplained explosions and fires at Iranian military and industrial facilities in recent weeks.

“Several ships are on fire in the port of Bushar, southern #Iran,” tweeted Walla News foreign affairs editor Guy Elster, with video of efforts to put out a fire on a burning vessel.

It was not immediately clear what types of ships had caught fire in Wednesday’s incident. No casualties have been reported from the fires so far.

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“More footage from the Iranian ship fires at the port in Bushehr,” tweeted Borzou Daragahi, an international reporter for The Independent.

“Watch how #Iranian firefighters battle blaze at a shipbuilding facility in #PersianGulf port city of Bushehr in southern #Iran. Cause of incident unknown. No casualties reported,” Iranian journalist Habib Abdolhossein tweeted with additional footage of the fire.

The latest fire incident comes two days after an explosion occurred at an Iranian chemical plant in Iran on Monday, Israel National News reported. Two days before that, on Saturday, a gas explosion shook a residential building in Tehran.

Another fire was reported at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran on July 2.

Prior to that fire, there was an explosion at a gas storage facility near Iran’s military base in Parchin.

On July 3, Iran’s top security body said it had determined the cause of the fire, but did not provide details. Iranian officials have alluded to the possibility of sabotage efforts being carried out by Israel or the U.S., but have not directly implicated either country in the pattern of fires and explosions.

Other Israeli and Iranian policy observers have also raised suspicions about the pattern of fires and explosions.

“Many countries have a clear interest to delay the Iranian nuclear military project; one of them is Israel,” Yaakov Amidror, the former national-security adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

RFE/RL further reported comments by former Iranian diplomat Hossein Alizadeh who said, “The reason why authorities are not ready to point their fingers at Israel is that they would then be forced to react — at least at the same level, which would be very difficult, and it would result in Israeli retaliation.”