Huge fires broke out on Iran’s largest warship, the Kharg, as well as at a big state owned petro-chemical refinery in Iran’s capital Tehran, on June 2. The origin of the fires has not been publicly announced so far. However, it is widely suspected, both within Iran and among people of other countries, that Israel, with the backing of the US, is responsible for setting fire to the warship and the petro chemical refinery.
The fire on the Kharg, occurred when the ship was deployed in the Gulf of Oman on a training exercise. It is reported to be a naval replenishment ship and the Iranian navy’s largest vessel by weight. It has been described by the Iranian news agency Tasnim as a training and logistical ship that has been in service for more than 40 years. According to the Tasnim report, the crew battled the fire for 20 hours before the ship sank off the coast of the southern port of Jask.
On the same day, just a few hours afterwards, a big fire broke out at a large state-owned petrochemical refinery in south Tehran. The fire was so huge that the billowing smoke and flames could be seen more than 12 miles away, from all corners of the capital. At least 18 oil storage tankers were burnt, according to Iranian media.
These attacks are taking place at a time when negotiations between Iran and the US have been resumed over the nuclear deal signed in 2015 by the US, Iran, EU, Britain, China, Russia, France and Germany. The US had unilaterally walked out of this agreement in 2018, and imposed fresh sanctions on Iran, causing severe hardship to its people. Within the US, as well as internationally, peace loving people have been demanding that the US government end the military and economic encirclement of Iran.
The restoration of the deal with Iran has been one of the promises of the new US government. The success of the negotiations are in the interest of Iran and the Iranian people, as it would create the conditions for lifting of some of the crippling sanctions that the US has imposed on Iran. However, the track record of the US shows that it remains committed to a hostile anti Iran policy. The US considers the existence of an independent Iran, which charts its own economic and political course, free from US imperialist dictate, as a threat to its strategic interests in West Asia. It considers Iran as the main roadblock to realizing its aim of bringing the oil rich West Asia under its complete domination. This has been the case ever since the Iranian revolution of 1979 overthrew the rule of the hated US imperialist backed regime of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. For the past 42 years, the US state has been trying to restore its domination over Iran. On the other hand, the peoples of the region fighting against US imperialist domination, look towards Iran as a source of inspiration.
Israel has openly expressed its opposition to the negotiations and to the restoration of an agreement with Iran and US and other world powers. In these circumstances it seems extremely likely that Israel, fully backed by the US, is responsible for these attacks.
Israel has earlier acknowledged responsibility for the attack on Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz on April 11 this year and attacks on other Iranian nuclear facilities, as well as the brazen killing of a top Iranian nuclear scientist in November last year. Barely 5 days before the attack on Natanz, Israel carried out a mine attack on an Iranian freighter in the Red Sea. This was the latest in a series of such attacks by Israel on Iranian ships.
The Iranian port of Jask, located in the Gulf of Oman near the Straits of Hormuz, is a vital shipping route to the Persian Gulf. It is in a region where heavily armed US warships are regularly deployed, to threaten Iran and sabotage its oil supplies to other countries. The US imperialists and their allies, including Israel, have staged a number of false-flag operations in the form of mine attacks and explosions on ships and oil tankers in the Persian Gulf region. They keep propagating the lie that Iran sponsors terrorism, in order to justify their attacks and embargo on Iran. However, facts show that it is not Iran, but the US and its allies including Israel, who are behind the majority of terrorist acts in the region.
Israel is the strategic ally of US in West Asia. The US and Israel have colluded to organise the attacks on the Iranian warship and oil refinery with the aim of provoking Iran and wrecking the proposed talks to end the economic sanctions on Iran. Immense pressure is being put on Iran.