‘Not every incident in Iran is connected to us,’ Gantz tells Israelis about explosions at Iranian nuclear sites

Benny Gantz speaks at a Blue and White party meeting, June 29, 2020. The defense minister reportedly said that “anything that is not related to the coronavirus will wait.” Photo: Noam Moskowitz

Marcy Oster

JERUSALEM (JTA) — After several explosions in recent days at sites associated with Iran’s missile and nuclear program, Israel’s defense minister told a worried nation that Israel had nothing to do with the events.

“Everyone can be suspicious of us all the time. But not every incident that happens in Iran is connected to us,” Benny Gantz said Sunday in an interview with Army Radio.

An explosion on Saturday damaged the Zargan power plant in Iran’s southwest, near the Persian Gulf and the Iraqi border. It followed a fire and explosion Thursday at the Natanz nuclear facility.

An explosion on Saturday damaged the Zargan power plant in Ahvaz in Iran’s southwest, near the Persian Gulf and the Iraqi border. It followed a fire and explosion on Thursday at the Natanz nuclear facility.

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Following Thursday’s incident, officials in Tehran suggested that the incident could have been caused by and Israeli cyberattack, in response to the April cyber attack against Israel’s residential water supply said to have been carried out by Iran.

Also on Saturday, a chlorine gas leak sickened 70 workers at a chemical center in southeast Iran. And it is unclear what caused an explosion at a missile production center outside Tehran last week, after Iran’s official explanation did not match available evidence.

“A nuclear Iran is a threat to the world and the region, as well as a threat to Israel. And we will continue to act on all fronts to prevent that from happening,” Gantz said. “We will do everything possible to prevent Iran from spreading terror and weapons, but I do not refer to any individual event.”