Was there another ‘mysterious’ explosion on Iran’s Qeshm Island?


Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks during the cabinet meeting in Tehran, Iran, March 4, 2020 (photo credit: OFFICIAL PRESIDENT WEBSITE/HANDOUT VIA REUTERS)

Residents of Qeshm Island in southern Iran reported the sound of an explosion just after 10 p.m. on Saturday. It caused concern because the electricity went off. Officials claimed there was an earthquake, but many did not believe them.

Rumors pointed to other possibilities. Qeshm is known for fishing and tourism. It is a long island off the important Port of Bandar Abbas. Illicit oil trading takes place off some of the islands between Iran and the Gulf.

The tanker Gulf Sky, at the center of an international case involving Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps front companies, was anchored off the island in mid-July after allegedly being hijacked from near the UAE. It is also of strategic value because the IRGC has a naval base on the island.

In this context, some social-media accounts and local Arabic and Persian media outlets claimed there had been a mysterious explosion. This would be in line with another dozen such explosions that have impacted Iran since late June.

One destroyed a surface-to-surface missile facility at Khojir; another harmed centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear-enrichment facility. This has left many Iranians on edge over concerns they may be targeted by cyberattacks or other acts the government is not admitting to.

There are other controversies related to Qeshm. Fishermen want more support, and some believe the island will form part of a free-trade zone nexus, along with Kish Island, and that China will have a growing role there. “Iran is not for sale,” say some nationalist and populist social-media accounts, challenging China’s alleged upcoming role.

Fishermen held a meeting on Friday about facing issues in transporting their catch. Could an explosion be some sort of sabotage? People say it could be human error or an IRGC secret maneuver.

The fishermen said they were told not to go out fishing on Saturday and link this to the supposed explosion. There are questions over whether it might be linked to ammunition storage on the island.

In the absence of any real evidence that something happened at Qeshm Island, the incident will likely come and go without further details. What it does show is how Iran has been jarred by all the recent explosions – and how locals are quick to report any rumors of what they think is another incident.



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One Comment on “Was there another ‘mysterious’ explosion on Iran’s Qeshm Island?”

  1. Mh Says:

    Bibi blinked again

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