Iranian Oil Refinery Rocked By Massive Explosions

An Iranian oil refinery was destroyed over the weekend after several large explosions rocked the multi-million dollar facility. The state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported that all 18 reservoirs went up in flames.

The dramatic incident unfolded in eastern Iran’s Birjand special economic zone. Authorities said the blaze burned through 1.5 million liters of oil as it was apparently allowed to burn itself out. It was believed too dangerous to mount a serious attempt to extinguish it.

Tehran has not released a cause for the fire or attempted to blame an outside party.

However, it comes at a time of greatly heightened tensions in the Middle East. As the Israel-Hamas war raged, Iranian-backed Yemeni terrorists repeatedly attacked Israeli shipping through the area, hijacking one and damaging others.

Last month the rebels seized the Bahamas-flagged Galaxy Leader cargo ship. It was leased to a Japanese company from a British firm, but that entity is partially owned by an Israeli businessman. None of the ship’s crew reportedly were from Israel.

Tel Aviv’s retaliation for the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre was cited by Houthi militants as their excuse for targeting shipping. 

The group said they are determined to “prevent navigating all the ships headed to the Zionist entity from any nationality, if the food and medicine [are prevented from reaching] the Gaza Strip, and [they] will become a legitimate target for our armed forces.”

Any naval vessel of any nationality is fair game, according to the terrorist organization.

As for the early Sunday morning fire, Iranian media sources said thick smoke from the mini-refinery could be seen for several kilometers. Firefighters evacuated a nearby factory as the blaze continued to burn throughout the day.

The heat of the fire greatly hampered efforts to contain it. IRNA quoted the province’s crisis management department director-general Mohammad Ali Akhundi as saying resources had to be held back “from around the danger zone because it was a matter of life.”

He reported there were no residential structures around the burning facility. There is no word of injuries or fatalities from the explosions and fire.

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