Iranian authorities on Wednesday denied reports about a missile explosion near a nuclear facility west of the capital, Tehran, saying the loud noise heard was caused by a controlled missile explosion launched by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) during military exercises.
Tehran Deputy Governor Mohsen Nayebi described “rumors” what was reported on social media networks about a missile explosion in the town of Shahr-e Qods (formerly known as Ghal‘eh Hasan Khan).
A loud noise heard in the outskirts of the town of Karaj, to the west of Tehran, on Wednesday was caused by a rocket fired by the Revolutionary Guards during a training exercise, the official news agency IRNA reported.
Karaj hosts several sensitive locations, such as the TESA centrifuge-parts workshop that was hit by apparent sabotage last June. Centrifuges can be used to enrich uranium.
“The loud noise heard this afternoon in the suburbs of Karaj was caused by the firing of a rocket during a training exercise from one of the Guards’ bases, which has caused some speculations and rumors online,” a spokesperson for the IRGC told IRNA.
“Such exercises are not uncommon, and we call upon our dear compatriots not to pay attention to the rumors made by the opponents and enemies of the Iranian nation.”
Tehran is currently negotiating with major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal in Vienna and conducted a war game in December to send a warning to Israel, its arch-foe in the region.
Israel has long warned it will use military action if diplomacy fails to curb Iran’s fast-advancing nuclear program by reviving the nuclear agreement. Iran says its nuclear ambitions are peaceful.
Last September, the IRGC announced two of its members died from injuries they suffered in an unexplained fire the day before.
The Guard said the fire erupted Sunday in a warehouse at what it described as a “research self-sufficiency center” west of the capital, Tehran. At least three Guard members were injured, two of whom later died. The statement did not provide any further details.