NewsSpecial WireIran’s oil well blasts blamed on Blair government

Iran’s oil well blasts blamed on Blair government


Iran Focus: Dubai, Sep. 2 – A hard-line member of Iran’s parliament from the oil-rich Khuzistan Province said on Friday that London was behind explosions in three oil wells that rocked parts of the provincial capital, Ahwaz, on Thursday morning. Iran Focus

Dubai, Sep. 2 – A hard-line member of Iran’s parliament from the oil-rich Khuzistan Province said on Friday that London was behind explosions in three oil wells that rocked parts of the provincial capital, Ahwaz, on Thursday morning.

The state-owned Fars news agency reported on Friday that the explosions had terrified residents in Farhangian district of Ahwaz and caused panic-stricken residents to flee their homes.

Seyyed Nezam Molahoweizeh told the news agency that the explosions were a sequel to “the repeated riots caused by insurgents in recent times”.

The Majlis deputy was referring to weeks of unrest in Ahwaz and several other cities earlier this year that left behind dozens of anti-government protesters dead and hundreds still unaccounted for.

“After their crushing defeat in the [June”> presidential elections, the sworn enemies of the Islamic revolution decided to misrepresent the public opinion, and that’s why they began their insurgent activities”, Molahoweizeh said.

“These [incidents”> have their roots in London and are guided from there”, the deputy added.

The state-owned news agency, which is close to the office of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, quoted a press release by the country’s dreaded secret police, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), which said individuals who had planted bombs in Ahwaz in June had been arrested and had confessed that they were “mercenaries of foreign intelligence services, particularly the British secret service”.

The news agency quoted a “well-informed source” as saying that the Iranian government possessed “thorough documents showing that the [Iranian”> insurgents had been trained by British security and military forces in a military base on the outskirts of Basra”.

“Some of these documents were handed over to the British Foreign Office to prove the point, but the comments by British officials show their extreme shamelessness”, the unnamed source told Fars news agency.

Some analysts see the latest accusations against Britain as an attempt by Tehran to put the Blair government on the defensive as tensions escalate between the theocratic state and its European interlocutors over Iran’s nuclear program.

“These accusations and other anti-British tirades or actions have been on the rise since the election of [President Mahmoud”> Ahmadinejad, and they’re essentially Tehran’s way of warning London not to adopt a tough approach against the Islamic Republic”, Walter Murray, a Persian Gulf analyst at the London-based Gulf Intelligence Monitor, said in a telephone interview. “If the Iranians had any hard evidence of the British government being behind the incidents in Khuzistan, they would have lost no time to trumpet it”.

John Hurst, a regional market analyst based in the United Arab Emirates, said the continuing instability in Iran’s most important oil province was causing deep concern in Tehran.

“The oil industry is the ayatollahs’ Achilles heel”, he said. “Right now, there is a desperate attempt to blame the ongoing protests by ethnic Arabs on foreign powers, particularly the British”, he said. “But this is clearly an indigenous phenomenon and the result of years of suppression and neglect”.

For now at least, Iran’s hard-liners continue to strike a defiant tone on the spreading unrest in the oil-rich region.

“Soon, those who carried out the evil plot will be arrested and all the enemies’ conspiracies will be thwarted”, Majlis deputy Molahoweizeh declared.

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