Mysterious ‘accident’ at Iran weapons facility with suspected links to nuclear program kills engineer

Tehran, Iran An unexplained incident struck a major Iranian military and weapons development base east of Tehran, the country’s state television reported Thursday, killing an engineer and injuring another worker. IranThe Defense Ministry said the “accident” happened Wednesday afternoon at a research center in the Parchin military complex.

The ministry has not given any details about the cause of the accident, but said an investigation is underway. It identified the engineer who died as Ehsun Ghadbeigi.

Parchin is home to a military base where the International Atomic Energy Agency previously said it suspected Iran had been testing explosive triggers that could be used in nuclear weapons. Iran has long denied seeking nuclear weapons, although the IAEA previously said Iran had carried out work “to support a possible military dimension of its nuclear program”, which was largely halted in late 2003.

The military complex in Parchin, Iran, about 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, can be seen in this August 13, 2004 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security.
The military complex in Parchin, Iran, about 30 kilometers southeast of Tehran, can be seen in this August 13, 2004 satellite image provided by DigitalGlobe and the Institute for Science and International Security.

AP Photo/DigitalGlobe – Institute for Science and International Security


Western concerns over Iran’s nuclear program led to sanctions and ultimately to Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers. The US under President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in May 2018, sparking a series of escalating attacks between Iran and the US and Tehran that lifted the deal’s production limits.

Ongoing negotiations sparked hopes in March that a roadmap could be agreed upon that would see the United States rejoin the deal from which Trump had withdrawn the country in 2018, and that Iran would re-limit its rapidly advancing nuclear program. But that month, the European Union’s foreign policy chief said “a pause” was needed in the talks, blaming “external factors” for the slowdown.

Although the top EU diplomat did not elaborate, his comment came shortly after Russia – another party to the nuclear talks with Iran – linked the ongoing negotiations to sanctions hit on Moscow over its war against Iran. Ukraine† Whatever the cause, talks have stalled since March.


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Since the US withdrawal from the nuclear pact in 2018, Tehran has steadily stepped up its nuclear development. The country insists it is for civilian purposes only, but Iran is now enriching uranium to 60% purity highest level ever and a short technical step of weapon class levels of 90%.

In 2015, the then Director General of the IAEA visited a suspected weapons program site in Parchin and inspectors took samples there for analysis.

Iran’s Missile and Space Programs Have Suffered series of mysterious explosions in recent years. A massive, unexplained explosion occurred near Parchin in the summer of 2020, rocking the capital and sending a massive fireball into the skies near Tehran.

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