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Iran accuses Israel of undermining gas pipeline

Israel was behind last week’s attack on Iranian gas pipelines, Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji said on Wednesday, according to the semi-official Tasnim news agency.

The blasts, which occurred on 14 February, damaged a gas pipeline running from western Iran’s Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari provinces north to cities on the Caspian Sea. The pipeline is about 1,270 kilometres (790 miles) long and begins in Asaluyeh, home to Iran’s South Pars offshore gas field. Owji initially called them a “terrorist act of sabotage” without naming any suspects. He said on Wednesday:

“The enemy intended to disrupt households’ gas supplies … but within two hours our colleagues worked to counter the Israeli plot which only damaged several pipes.”

Meanwhile, Israel has been launching attacks on Iran that have largely targeted its nuclear programme. Earlier this month, the head of the UN nuclear watchdog warned that Iran was “not entirely transparent” about its atomic programme, especially after an official who once headed Tehran’s programme said the Islamic Republic had “all the pieces in hand to build a weapon.”

In December, a hacking group that Iran accuses of having ties to Israel said it carried out a cyberattack that knocked out up to 70 per cent of Iranian petrol stations.

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