Iran’s main gas pipeline hit by sabotage, oil minister says

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Two explosions along Iran’s main south-north gas pipeline network on Wednesday were caused by sabotage, the Iranian oil minister told state TV, without naming any suspects.

Authorities also denied reports that the incident caused gas cuts to industries and offices in some provinces, state media reported.

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“This terrorist act of sabotage occurred at 1 a.m. (9.30 p.m. GMT) on Wednesday morning in the network of national gas transmission pipelines in two regions of the country,” Minister Javad Owji said.

Only villages near the damaged pipeline were experiencing gas outages, which will be fixed later today, Owji said. Temporary restrictions had been planned ahead for maintenance, state media reported.

Owji pointed to a similar incident which took place in 2011, which he said was an act of sabotage that caused temporary gas outages in four different regions in the country.

While such attacks are rare in Iran, Arab separatist militants in Iran claimed in 2017 that they had blown up two oil pipelines in coordinated attacks in the country’s southwestern Khuzestan province.

In December, Iran executed five people whom it accused of being saboteurs with links to Israel’s Mossad intelligence service in a decades-long shadow war that has seen Tehran accuse Israel of attacks on its nuclear and missile efforts, charges the latter has never confirmed or denied.

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