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Iranian lawmaker says refinery blast not sabotage

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Iranian lawmaker says refinery blast not sabotage


A lethal explosion at Iran’s largest petrochemical refinery was not sabotage, according to an Iranian lawmaker. The head of Iran’s parliamentary energy committee, Hamid-Reza Katouzian, told reporters that experts had “warned that the refinery was not ready to be opened.”

Two people were killed and 11 others injured in the blast which coincided with the inauguration of the plant and a visit by President Mahmoud Ahmedinejad. He was not hurt and appeared on state television shortly afterwards giving a speech in which he failed to mention the incident.

The semi-official Mehr news agency said the cause of the blast and fire was a gas leak while the state broadcaster, IRIB, said on its website that similar incidents had occurred in the weeks running up to the new plant’s inauguration.

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