Three mysterious explosions – at least two of them at secretive nuclear and weapons facilities – have rocked Iran in the past week. On June 25, 2020, a massive explosion, seen many miles away in Tehran, burned a hillside near a missile complex at Khojir.
On June 30, a medical center suffered a fire in Tehran, killing at least 18 people. And on July 2, an incident at Iran’s Natanz enrichment facility was mentioned by the country’s official media, but without any elaboration.
This leads to key questions about why so many explosions or incidents have affected key aspects of Iran’s military-industrial complex. In the wake of an Iranian cyber attack on Israel, a cyber attack harmed Shahid Rajaee port in May this year.
The Islamic Republic has systematically walked away from the 2015 Iran deal, enriching uranium and ramping up its weapons programs. It has focused on ballistic missiles and precision guidance for munitions, as well as drones and nuclear facilities.
The Natanz facility was well known for being affected by the malicious Stuxnet computer worm in 2010. Stuxnet was developed by the USA and Israel according to The New York Times, and may have destroyed up to 1,000 centrifuges at the Natanz facility.