ANKARA 

Iran on Thursday denied claims that recent fires in the country had been a result of cyberattacks.

Speaking to reporters in Tehran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Sayed Abbas Mousavi said “limited fires” in woodlands, refineries etc. in the summertime were “neither peculiar nor something happening this year alone.”

In comments published on the ministry’s website, Mousavi said that unless proven otherwise, the US government would be the “primary suspect” for any cyberattack against Iran, citing reports that the US President Donald Trump ordered cyberattacks on Iran and other countries.

He added that Iran reserved the “right to legitimate defense and proportional and appropriate response to the aggression and harm against our country in the face of cyber and non-cyber attacks.”

Mousavi highlighted that cyberattacks were “not anything new” and that thousands were carried out against the country’s infrastructure every day.

“Most of those attacks are repulsed by our defense systems and the ‘cyber incident response teams’ without making any impact.”

– Multiple blasts, blazes

Several fires have been reported in various parts of Iran in recent weeks.

A fire broke out at a gas plant in eastern Iran on July 13 followed by an explosion in the area, according to Iranian media.

The incident took place at a gas condensate plant in the Kavian Fariman industrial zone in the Razavi Khorasan province, state-run television reported.

On June 26, an explosion was reported near the Parchin military site in the northeast part of the capital Tehran due to “a gas tank explosion,” said officials. No casualties were reported.

Four days later on June 30, a massive explosion damaged a clinic in Tajrish, northern Tehran, killing 19 people. Authorities said the incident was due to a gas leak.

This was followed by an incident at the Natanz nuclear facility, 155 miles south of Tehran in the province of Isfahan on July 2, which damaged an “industrial shed” close to the main facility.

On July 4, a fire broke out at a power station in the city of Ahwaz in southwestern Iran. The blaze affected an electricity transformer and was swiftly put out by firefighters, officials said.

These strikingly similar incidents in recent weeks triggered speculation in Iran to their causes, with some blaming foreign countries.

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