Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 20, 2020

Industrial Accidents In Iran Are Just That

New data supports last week's Moon of Alabama assertion that nearly all recently reported incidents in Iran were just normal accidents.

Lots of 'western' media speculated about the number of explosions and fires in Iran.

The seeming series of incidents led to some rather mediocre analysis butt fingering:

The Undeclared War Against Iran - National Interest July 15

A series of violent attacks, involving explosions and fires, has been hitting Iran. The incidents have been too frequent and intense to be random accidents. They are part of an organized effort.

No, they are not.

As we explained only one of the recent incidents in Iran, an explosion and fire at a centrifuge assembly plant in Natanz, was an organized effort most likely caused by a CIA operation.

All other incidents were just normal accidents:

While the incident in Natanz certainly smells of active sabotage the other incidents, like a recent explosion of gas cylinders at a hospital, look more like plain old accidents.

Someone is amplifying a number of rather normal accidents that occur in any large industrialized country in an attempt to sow fear and uncertainty in Iran.

From Tehran, Professor Marandi lauded our effort:

Seyed Mohammad Marandi @s_m_marandi - 10:41 UTC · Jul 16, 2020

A very good article about the so called mysterious fires & explosions in Iran.
This is all psychological warfare.
All large countries experience such incidents, but Iran's adversaries are attempting to create fear.
Natanz was different. It was an American led act of sabotage.

Our analysis was based on the character of those incidents. Iran's infrastructure is not in the best possible shape. Exploding transformer and rupturing gas valves during a hot summer are simply not unusual.

Other people have come to the same conclusion:

raz zimmt @RZimmt - 9:16 UTC · Jul 12, 2020

A quick examination of gas explosions, which hit Iran only in July-Aug 2019, shows that it is inevitable that at least some of the recent incidents were probably related to problems of neglected infrastructure or mismanagement. ...

There is now hard data to back up those assertions:

Tiziana Corda @tizianacorda - 12:12 UTC · Jul 20, 2020

On the recent explosions in Iran, from a comparative perspective.
Building on @RZimmt’s research, I dug into IRNA's archives to collect data on major fires and gas explosions which hit Iran in mid May/end July *one year ago* (2019) (data and methodology:


It seems that 2020 is a rather quiet year for Iranian fire brigades. Corda summarizes her findings:

Comparing 2020 with 2019, the only major difference lies in explosions at military or nuclear centres. Those hitting Natanz and Khojir some weeks ago were indeed worth investigating. But, apart from those, it would make little sense for the international media to continue covering obsessively every ordinary explosion taking place in the country, wouldn’t it?

The explosion near Khojjr was at an industrial plant which allegedly manufactures missiles. But it was caused by a defective gas tank which was offset from the production hall. Iranian state TV had a report from that site which showed the ruptured gas tank and the damaged roof that had covered it. There are scorch marks from the fire that followed the explosion.


A satellite view of the facility shows no damage to the main manufacturing hall. A sabotage attempt would have been aimed at that. 


The incident near Khojjr was most likely a normal industrial accident. Of all the recent incidents in Iran only the explosion at the Natanz site can not be characterized as an industrial accident. The assembly of centrifuges does not require any explosives or other hazardous materials at the site. Whatever blew up there must have been smuggled in.

But even that explosion has done only little to hinder Iran's nuclear developments. New centrifuges will now be assembled elsewhere and the security will be beefed up. In six months Iran's program will be back at where it was three weeks ago.

The 'western' media campaign about incidents in Iran is not impressing the people who live there. They have fun with pointing to a series of unexplained incident in 'western' countries:

Seyed Mohammad Marandi @s_m_marandi - 20:15 UTC · Jul 17, 2020

Iranians ridiculing western narratives on Iran:
There have been a series of "mysterious" explosions in the US
These "suspicious" incidents have happened at an Indiana steel mill & in a US warship among other places
Still the "regime" is trying to maintain a sense of normality

Posted by b on July 20, 2020 at 17:04 UTC | Permalink


I'll grant you that 'amplifying accidents' is part of the CIA handbook under the theory that it creates stress to demoralize the population but do we have a baseline of what is normal to compare it to?

Using surrogates to destroy civilian infrastructure and targeting civilian infrastructure is also part of their handbook. The most obvious example of that is Nicaragua and the mining of Managua Bay. While I do not believe that the CIA would risk or even has the infrastructure to have native born agents in Iran, we do have a lot of money. We could just be 'casting our bread upon the waters' and giving money to a handful of MEK operatives who in turn distribute money to local trouble makers to turn up the heat. I even recall a story on Southfront (sorry, didn't save link) where Iran discovered where we contacted local Iranians over a skype equivalent and gave them money in drop boxes to minimize our risk.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2020 17:34 utc | 1

This is why we come here b.

You are providing journalism while the MSM is providing brainwashing propaganda.

Kudos to you.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 20 2020 17:34 utc | 2

Regardless of whatever else it might be I totally agree that it's NOT Israel. Too many sources are tripping over themselves to credit this to Israel and every reason they give equally applies to the U.S. I do not believe that Israel's foreign intelligence services are what they once were. In many ways the U.S. and Israel are very similar. We are both self-isolating countries who tell ourselves what we want to believe. If anything, Israel has a more rigid 'bomb and fly back' approach versus the U.S. getting into messy entanglements.

If these are not true accidents, they also were not aerial bombing attacks, I do not even believe they are cyber. This just look like messy, on the ground sabotage.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2020 17:42 utc | 3

thanks b... ditto @2 psychohistorian comment.... might the desire on the part of the people who own the msm to demonize iran be part of this?? i stopped thinking the msm was an objective source of news a long time ago... the msm has an agenda is how i see it because someone behind it is feeding it this bullshit and getting them to run with it..

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2020 17:51 utc | 4

Incidents happen everywhere but if they happen in Iran they are used to feed the empire propaganda..same old tactic to reinforce the false myth of israel able to do impossible things.Sure the zionists would like to do such things but here it's different..they don't deal with unarmed civilians as they do's much easier to shoot a boy holding a flag of his people and it's much easier strike Syria when they know no one will stop them..So yes..all BS for the sheeps.

Posted by: LuBa | Jul 20 2020 18:20 utc | 5

Some things unclear/not addressed:

  1. If these are mostly not CIA attacks, then who is playing up these incidents and why?
  2. Was the report of Trump's issuing a "Presidential Finding" that allows CIA to conduct a covert war also false?
  3. What can we surmise in context of recent history of "mysterious attacks"?

<> <> <> <> <>

My speculations:

  1. Israeli. An attempt to fool Iran into acting against USA? Something that could spark a US-Iran war.

    USA is now focused on China (maybe was always really focused on China since 2014). USA may not want to get bogged down in a shooting war with Iran (or Venezuela). So Netanyahu is trying to arrange a US-Iran war because from Israel's POV that is a better use of USA resources than a US-China conflict?

  2. Yes. I think Trump renewed a 'Presidential Finding' issued by Obama that cites China and Russia. Israel could hype that and add Iran so as to make 'mysterious attacks' in Iran appear to be part of a CIA covert war.
  3. These attacks/explosions in Iran are the latest in a series of 'mysterious attacks' in the Middle East. First on shipping/tankers, then on warehouses in Iraq, now on various sites in Iran (but mostly military sites, I think).

    For anyone that believes that it made no sense for Iran to attack tankers, Israel is the prime suspect. And Netanyahu ultimately admitted that Israel had attacked the warehouses in Iraq.

    AFAIK, Israel doesn't have the ability to perform attacks in Iran. CIA has the relationship with MEK - not Israel. So what is the next best thing for Israel? Claim that 'mysterious attacks' are the work of CIA. And then bolster that with claims that CIA have been authorized to conduct covert wars against US enemies.

* The reporting says that Trump issued a 'Presidential Finding' in 2018. That is 4 years after the Donbas rebels beat Ukraine and Kissinger wrote his WSJ Op-Ed warning that the Post-War global order was in grave danger and urging USA to look back at past glory as a guide to prevailing against Russia and China (MAGA). IMO it's likely that Obama issued a 'Presidential Finding' at that time which was directed at 'great power' competitors Russia and China. In all likelihood Trump simply renewed Obama's 'Finding' in 2018, though it's possible that he also expanded it to include allies of Russia and China.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 20 2020 18:41 utc | 6

Continuing from Jul20 18:41 #6

- Leaking the existence of a secret 'Presidential Finding' that gives CIA extraordinary powers may also be a way of threatening USA officials: tackle "the Iran problem" first (before China) or more leaks will be forth-coming.

- When US govt agencies get extraordinary powers, the authorization generally has to be renewed. A four-year periodical review makes sense as it conforms to the election cycle.

- Fun fact: immedidately after Kissinger's Op-Ed was published I called it virtually a declaration of war in a comment at 10 months after the Op-Ed (which essentially recommended MAGA), Trump enter the race for President with MAGA as a focus. He easily swept aside 18-other republicans and then his friend Hillary ("the most qualified candidate in history!) to become President. IMO, the entire election was a farce. Actor/Entertainer/conman Trump had already been selected by the Deep State to be their front man in the effort against Russia and China.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 20 2020 19:07 utc | 7

Thanks b for the truth

JC I come by almost every day but the world and Amerika are so F$$$$$ Up I really don't have much to say.

Stay safe everyone

Posted by: jo6pac | Jul 20 2020 19:59 utc | 8

james | Jul 20 2020 17:51 utc | 4

I think the only way to look at the msm is as the propaganda organ or arm of the ruling class. Of course, like all effective propaganda it has different flavours of presentation for different sections of the populations. Fox News and the Wapo are aimed at different sections, the Times, the Telegraph and the Sun are aimed at different segments of the population, but the message is basically the same. It's all coordinated by the Integrity Initiative.

Posted by: foolisholdman | Jul 20 2020 20:03 utc | 9

@ 9 foolisholdman... sure looks that way... even state media is a bit skewed due the wire service articles they carry and i sometimes wonder if writers like chris brown who writes on russia for the cbc is trying to hire himself out for private media based on the constant crap he puts up on russia... people need to ask more questions generally..

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2020 20:43 utc | 10

Me, I would say it is often difficult to tell what is accident, and what hostile action. The Ukrainian plane shoot-down is an example. The officer concerned should have decided not to fire, but he didn't. In that sense, he didn't have western liberty of action, though in other ways Iran is very western.

At the same time, we know that US and Israel are doing all they can to undermine the regime. With not a lot of success, it has to be said. They fear to attack Iran, so don't. The question is, what success do their under the counter efforts have, apart from in the propaganda? Not a lot that is proven.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 20 2020 20:47 utc | 11

Yep, the pro-Israeli press has a tendency to push "we're attacking Iran" stories for domestic consumption, the idea is they've still got "deterrence" against Iran, which they do, a little.

Just one of many little biases leading to weird stories proliferating here and there in international media. Fake stories have played a legendary role in the Syrian Civil War going on now, often getting far more attention than the actual war.

Posted by: Bemildred | Jul 20 2020 20:50 utc | 12

On the subject of psychological warfare this anti-Chinese BBC interview is making the rounds This allegedly shows the Chinese Ambassador 'struggling to answer a hero interviewer pressing him on the transportation of Uighur victims'. I like this version of the video clip, not because it is different but because it adds sad music to the prisoners at the train station. Since it has sad music, the Chinese must be doing something bad.

If you strip away the gasps of the interviewer what is in this video that should elicit such horror?
1. There are up to 500 young men at a train station being transported somewhere. Far from struggling, the Ambassador said that sometimes there are prisoner transfers. Young men fit the profile of a prison population.

2. Would the west feel better if we had 50 young men in orange jumpsuits leaving a bus instead of a train? Given the number of railroad cars I don't see evidence of overcrowding.

3. Are these even Uighurs or are these Han Chinese? (serious question, I don't pretend to know everything). Wouldn't change my opinion but I've been hearing about Uighurs so much, I'm curious if they look different.

Posted on Ingraham's twitter feed of course with some brilliant observations such as, 'if there is no genocide where are the other people'. If this is a prisoner transfer, I don't expect to see moms mingling with the prisoners. I don't see this in the U.S. either.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2020 21:16 utc | 13

oops ... forgot to post the video url with the sad music
This is why it's a genocide. I guess there is a simplistic comparison to trains but the U.S. is pretty unique in its total lack of train infrastructure. On a bus, we will have 30 guys in orange jumpsuits, on a train you can have a much larger number of people per trip but again, should not be an issue unless they are being packed like meat.

Posted by: Christian J. Chuba | Jul 20 2020 21:28 utc | 14

@11 lol laguerre, you must be a Austrian bird. "US and Israel are doing all they can to undermine the regime. With not a lot of success"
The value of the Rial has plummeted to all time low : 252 000 for 1$. official change is 42 000 for 1$, sanctions bite hard. The rial lost 50% of its value since January 2020. Things are not going well in Ayatollahland. Also, these last two days Israel has bombed the shit out of the IRGC in AbuKamel, Der Ezor, Damas. Seems like you live in a parallel world where it did not happened, but in this continum it does and continuing even now in damascus.
My impression is that Israel is pushing the Iranian to the fault. For Israel it is the right window to do it. Iran bad record of air defense, bad economic conjuncture, Putin looking elsewhere and in November probable joe Binden election make it now the opportunity to seize.
My neutral 2 cents.

Posted by: murgen | Jul 20 2020 21:32 utc | 15

Amplification is a necessary part of terrorism. Make an attack (s) and amplify to feed fear.

Just because something is being amplified, this does not mean it was natural. Also, one would suspect its been an ongoing operation, perhaps without as much amplification. Iran obviously would like to deamplify as its people are most likely none too happy after the added stress of COVID and shooting down an passenger airliner in January. Some might be questioning the ability of the government or value in keeping it.

Anyways, Show me a similar map of US for natural accidents this year and I might be convinced. “Most likely” isn't conclusive.

Posted by: Kay Fabe | Jul 20 2020 21:51 utc | 16

always good to get the hasbara take, lol...

Posted by: james | Jul 20 2020 22:16 utc | 17

@9&10 the fourth estate has always been a propaganda arm

most of the issues we face are ssdd... makes me feel old but the difference now is that the tech tools (internet, mobiles etc) invented since ww2 are pretty close to fully co-opted and leveraged

(i love tech but) there is a profound tragedy occurring among young people being conditioned (raised?!) by their devices. ssdd essentially, it is just so incredibly intense now that i don’t see how they can defend against it

Posted by: Rae | Jul 20 2020 23:27 utc | 18

If the Western mainstream news media campaign fixating on and fetishising Iranian industrial accidents (and deliberately and repeatedly inserting news about the explosion and the fire at the Natanz nuclear facility into the litany of other industrial accidents) is not impressing Iranians themselves, then who was it designed to impress?

If it had been designed to impress the Iranian diaspora living in Britain, other Five-Eyes nations and other countries, that might make sense. Not too many Iranians living overseas are all that enamoured of the Iranian government and its spending priorities. But they are likely to know also that 40+ years of economic and other sanctions against Iran make improvements of its infrastructure difficult, and they could be just as critical of continuing Western hostility to Iran and the consequences of this hostility and vindictive sanctioning on people's lives generally.

Perhaps the people who are the intended audience of this reporting are us, presumed to be as ignorant of the historical context behind these industrial accidents in Iran, compared to industrial accidents in other countries at similar levels of industrial development as Iran, and even in countries like the US, the UK and others where infrastructure maintenance and improvements have been neglected, as are those reporters and journalists breathlessly poring over the reports from Iran.

What would be the purpose of bombarding Western audiences with constant news of Iranian industrial accidents? To demonstrate perhaps how backward Iran is, how desperately regime change is required there - and getting Western public support for overthrowing the Iranian government.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 20 2020 23:57 utc | 19

Good sleuthing, b.
Knowing what wussy little twerps the 'Israelis' are, it was hard to believe that they'd be able to conduct air strikes on multiple Iranian targets without being detected. I remember reading some years ago that Iran has a Russian-designed early warning radar system called Kolchuga.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 21 2020 0:23 utc | 20

Jen | Jul 20 2020 23:57 utc | 19

who was it designed to impress? ... What would be the purpose ...

Good questions. I've asked similar questions @Jul20 18:41 #6.

I think it's important that CIA was blamed. Is that merely misdirection? Or, is it a third-party hoping to spark a fight? The recent spate of "mysterious attacks" leads me think it is the latter.

And I suspect that the reason for this tomfoolery is that USA is now absorbed with China instead of "getting the job done"/sarc in Iran.

Who has the media reach? Who has the gumption? Who's in a sour mood because the West-bank annexation has been delayed?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 0:39 utc | 21

How many of the US Navy's recent mishaps have been due to sabotage?

Posted by: lysias | Jul 21 2020 0:39 utc | 22
"TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ intelligence forces have arrested a team of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) in Iran’s southern province of Fars, a commander said.
The team of MKO terrorists had entered the Fars Province in order to carry out acts of sabotage, deputy chief of the public relations department of the IRGC office in the province said."

To cause a bit of disruption or to just add an extra thorn in the side, gas tanks are a good target. Plenty of undefended targets and very little terrorist type equipment required to make some flash bang.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 0:42 utc | 23

Peter AU1 @Jul21 0:42 #23

Just to be clear: I don't think b is saying that all of the incidents are industrial accidents. Only that the mysterious explosions are being hyped by adding what are just industrial accidents.

It seem clear that whoever is behind this hype wants war between US and Iran.

How does such hyping lead to a war? Either:

  1. Iranian government 'takes the bait' and attacks USA interests; or
  2. A false-flag with claims that Iran "lashed out" due to it's frustration at continuing mysterious explosions.

Lets not forget that in December 2019, after a spate of mysterious warehouse explosions in Iraq (later acknowledged by Netanyahu to be Israeli operations), a US contractor was killed by mysterious forces. USA blamed Iraqi Iranian-backed militias (PMU) but some believe that it was ISIS (I'm pretty sure that b wrote that it was likely to be ISIS). US killing dozens of militia members and then Soleimani.

Was it PMU? Was it ISIS? Or was it another Israeli op to cross Trump's "red-line" (the killing of a American).

And just how "American" was the American that was killed? Apparently he was an Iraqi who had been granted US citizenship (how recently? was his citizenship done or in-process?) And he was not a US soldier but a contractor.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 1:49 utc | 24

I agree with b.

As I said in an earlier thread, the likelihood is that most of these incidents were normal accidents. However, they are likely being used as part of a propaganda campaign by Israel, and of course the US MSM are going to follow Israel's lead, especially if they are handed "intelligence" by the usual "unnamed officials" (read: neocon stooges).

I also suggested that the goal of the Israeli and neocon campaign is to make Iran's officials themselves question whether they are under attack, and thus to stimulate them to take some retaliation which Israel and the US can then use to justify an attack on iran. However, it is likely that Iran is well aware of that probable plan and will not be sucked into it.

Plus this doesn't help Israel much in dealing with Hezbollah, which still remains the primary deterrent against a war with Iran.

Bottom line: Another lame Israeli attempt to get a war started while Trump is in office which will likely fail (albeit depending on how stupid Trump is.)

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 21 2020 1:55 utc | 25


As yet I really don't have any opinion on b being wrong or right. Quite a few explosions and fires In Iran lately. Is the place that poorly managed and run that these are all just accidents that are occurring all the time. Looks more like a spate rather than just another day at the office.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 2:17 utc | 26

How Western anarchists can support Ayatollahs or CCP cadre will never seize to amaze me.
Why do the US'enemies mechanically turn into your friends?

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 21 2020 2:23 utc | 27

Peter AU1 @Jul21 2:17 #26

As yet I really don't have any opinion

I grant you that there's still much that we don't know.

AFAIK we don't know the result of Iranian investigations. Do they have video surveillance on these sites? Have they detected any bomb residue? or other evidence indicating something other than an accident?

And I thought the rush to blame Iran for the shipping/tanker attacks by MSM and even many bloggers was strange. So I still reserve judgement to some degree when I see what might look like organized 'messaging'.

Other than that, my thinking is as I've explained in my previous comments.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 2:31 utc | 28

Jen 19

Perhaps to demonstrate that maximum pressure policy is working. And if these are accidents rather than sabotage, I would have to say maximum pressure policy is working.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 2:48 utc | 29

Not sure if anyone here remembers the short series of factory explosions in the US over the last 6 - 12 months, particularly around the time of the Stella Impero/Grace-I incidents.
It occurred to me during that time that it would have been easy to create a scare around these events and somehow associate them with Iran.

Posted by: Arch Bungle | Jul 21 2020 2:51 utc | 30

Speaking of professor Marandi, Anya Parampil interviewed him a few days ago, and he made clear that there are no attacks apart from Natanz, which he held to be CIA-led. He illustrated the literally thousands of propaganda outlets and actors working in the Persian language and attempting to demoralize the Iranian people. The BBC Persia channel is very much to the fore in this attack, publishing inflammatory material in the Persian language that could never be published in the English language. The propaganda is hugely racist to set Arab against Persian, and - most pertinently to this discussion - continually supports the notion that Israel is constantly attacking Iran.

My surmise is that this is not so much an action to promote war between the US and Iran, as it is akin to "vanity publishing", where the west is fueling the propaganda narrative to prop up the idea that Israel is still a strong player - when in fact Israel is hugely weak, afraid and incompetent, very much like the US. Both players, of course, are completely outgunned by the indigenous forces of the Middle East theater.

Here's that interview - I'm afraid it's a lengthy video - I haven't searched for a transcript but perhaps one exists:
Israeli sabotage in Iran? Iranian professor brings update on Middle East & North Africa


As collateral to this point that Israel is weak and pretends to be strong using propaganda as its only real tool left, consider what an Iranian general just claimed about Israel's pretense of continually killing Iranians in Syria. I read it at the Saker, as sourced from resistancenews.

Brigadier General Abu Al-Fadl Shukarji reveals that Iran has retaliated for every Iranian martyr in Syria killed by Israel - there are 7 such men. Israeli losses are larger than 7 men.

The general warns Tel Aviv to stop lying, or Iran will respond more harshly:

Claiming that the Zionists have used the media in psychological warfare to present themselves under an appearance of strength in Syria, he warned them not to continue their lies about targeting Iranian sites in Syria and said: “If the Zionists continue their criminal behavior, we will make it clear that Iran has the upper hand." - Israeli strikes in Syria: Iran reveals extent of losses & warns Tel Aviv

james here will be amused to see that the hasbara retort he noted here is largely reproduced in the second comment at the Saker following the article.

As Marandi made clear in his interview, thousands of fabricated social media accounts and efforts by trolls act continuously on behalf of the notion that Israel is strong and willing to fight its enemies.

We see instead, that the reverse is true. All it has left is propaganda, and even this is failing and now being called out by Iran as deserving military response.


The same degeneration applies to the US, in my view. In Iraq the PMF has declared that it waited to give the US a chance to leave without damage, and this has not occurred and so now the US must leave with damage.

The US will be forced out of the ME, and I don't know what will become of Israel, but the locals seem pretty sure the entity must abandon its occupation also, and its people must leave the region.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 21 2020 2:59 utc | 31

Peter AU 1 @ 26:

What you could do is put yourself in the position of being a professional saboteur, and someone comes to you and says I'll pay you a million in gold if you cause an accident in Iran, such that no-one would ever suspect you or the fellow paying you $$$ of having anything to do with the accident.

So you find out what the record of industrial accidents in Iran has been over, let's say, the past 10 years, or 20 years if you have the luxury of time, to work out which industries have the most accidents, perhaps the most fatalities, in a given period and find out which times of the year they are most likely to happen.

You might find out that accidents in the oil and gas industry are most likely to happen in the summer because in desert climates (and Iran is in a desert zone), soaring day temperatures and freezing night temperatures take a huge toll on metal pipes and gas valves in certain parts of the country. So if you can, you go to that area and do something to the gas pipes there, to cause an accident almost straight away or some time later.

But of course doing all this takes time and effort, and much knowledge of the targeted industry that you may not need later on, so you're more likely to concentrate your energies on industries easy to attack through, say, cyber-hacking.

I don't know about Iranian industry being poorly managed but knowing that the country has been subjected to sanctions over 40+ years, and those sanctions including trade in or transfers of technologies and their related knowledge and skill sets, I can imagine that Iranians are working with old or ageing infrastructure, patching it up here and there to the best of their abilities and knowledge, often unable to get needed parts because those parts are either sanctioned or no longer being manufactured. Incompetent management may be a factor but we would need to know much more about the country, its business and engineering cultures, and the way Iranian businesses and corporations are run to know how much influence bad management and organisation have.

We would need to know too which industries Iran regards as essential, and therefore state-managed rather than privately managed, and find out if industries suffering the most industrial accidents are dominated by state-owned corporations. That might yield some interesting results, leading to further inferences. Are industries being targeted because they are government-run essential industries? Which state corporations in those industries are suffering the most accidents?

I once attended a talk given by a woman who had travelled around Iran with a coach group. She mentioned that while travelling along city highways, she saw car mechanics shops and panel-beaters galore touting for business, far more than she expected to see in Iran and would expect to see even in the West. The reason is those guys are probably experts in patching up old cars with whatever they salvage from junkyards.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 21 2020 3:10 utc | 32

Jen 32

The repair shops could be because new vehicles are hard to come by but also labor cost. We live in a throw away society because labour cost is high for repairs.

I like watching these 'Pakistani Truck' videos. For a full rebuild, they strip a truck down to chassis, repair and strengthen the chassis by making new channels that fit inside or outside the old chassis then rivet it all back together. Apart from folding the new channels, everything is done with very basic tools.

Battery repair - They strip a battery, discard plates that are too far gone, make up cell packs from still usable plates and then make cell packs with new plates to replace those that were discarded. Again done with very basic equipment.

And this one, repairing the ball joints on a steering tie rod. This one would be a bit of a concern for me if I was driving a truck over some of those mountain passes.

But back to Iran. I have read that one of their universities is a world leader in electrical engineering. That can be seen when they take over US drones, land them and reverse engineer them. There small turbine engines are also very good - Russia signing a contract with Iran to by its small drone or cruise missile turbines.

With the gas, if it is accidents that are occurring it would be a lack of maintenance rather than lacking tech know how.
Covid19, lack of funds due to sanctions ect -
Maximum pressure - I doubt Iran will succumb to it but can be very debilitating if run properly mistakes are made under constant pressure or they can be set up for a mistake as in the aircraft shootdown.
Pompeo has publicly brought MEK into the attack. They would have some contacts and sleepers inside Iran. The gas explosions could be due to lack of maintenance or mistakes but they could just as easily be part of Trumps maximum pressure policy.

With just a few very basic plumbers or mechanics tools, it would be incredibly easy to set up 'accidental' gas explosions because all you need is a leaking fitting.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 3:55 utc | 33

This is a better video of a truck chassis rebuild in Pakistan.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 4:16 utc | 34

A couple of items in TASS today.
"Zarif will hand over Rouhani’s message to Vladimir Putin and will hold talks with his Russian counterpart Lavrov five years after signing the Iran nuclear deal," as follows from a press statement released by the Iranian embassy.
MOSCOW, July 20. /TASS/. Iran is interested in buying new Russian weapons to enhance its defense capacities, Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali said in an interview with the Kommersant daily.

"Indeed, it is so," he said answering the question if Teheran was interested in Russia’s new weapons.

"We will hold consultations with Russia on what we need to enhance our defense capacities. The Russian government and the Russian people have always been by our side in times of trouble. Russia is our priority partner in this sense," he stressed.

Be interesting to see what noises come out of Israel and US now.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 4:52 utc | 35

Richard Steven Hack #25

Bottom line: Another lame Israeli attempt to get a war started while Trump is in office which will likely fail (albeit depending on how stupid Trump is.)

But it WILL succeed with Biden I would bet. If/when Biden (or his Democrazi replacement) wins the election then that period between November and inauguration will see all stops out by the Palestinian Occupier to either steal land or start war.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2020 4:59 utc | 36

@31 grieved... it is hard not to imagine a whole whack job of these hasbara artists sitting in tel aviv or wherever the work has been farmed out - typing away the stupid drivel that typically appears on websites like moa, or the sakers... most people here can see thru it.. oh well! always good to see you post! and as you note - the propaganda is not working as effectively as it used to..

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2020 5:25 utc | 37

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 21 2020 4:59 utc | 36 But it WILL succeed with Biden I would bet. If/when Biden (or his Democrazi replacement) wins the election then that period between November and inauguration will see all stops out by the Palestinian Occupier to either steal land or start war.

Wouldn't surprise me. Israel thinks their best chance is with Trump, and given it looks like he might be headed for the dustbin as a one-term President, they might well be motivated to roll the dice.

Maybe instead of attacking Iran, they'll try to get Trump to join them in attacking Hezbollah again. They need to do that if they want any chance of keeping their economy intact in an Iran war. And without US help, they can't do it themselves. It's not even clear if they can do it *with* US help. But they have no choice but to try if they want an Iran war. The one thing we're sure about is that Israel wants the US to attack Iran. Absolutely no doubt on that. But they want an Iran war "on the cheap", i.e., without suffering too badly themselves. And Hezbollah can make sure that idea won't succeed.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 21 2020 6:21 utc | 38

I had the impression Israel was willing to take the hits if Hezbollah and Iran could be destroyed. I think Putin ended those dreams when he placed the Russian nuclear umbrella over Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 6:29 utc | 39

James @ 37:

Where anti-Iran propaganda is concerned, you're best looking a bit closer to Canada: specifically to Albania where MEK has its current headquarters in a place not far from Tirana.

Some time in either 2017 or 2018, MEK in Albania bought 1,700 Lenovo computers and monitors from a local firm for its compound. Everything was paid in full with cash.

What do MEK do with all those computers and monitors in its compound? They run a troll farm.

"... [Former MEK member] Heyrani calls the camp a version of Animal Farm, after the book written by George Orwell about an isolated and authoritarian society. In a statement, the group said MEK members “have been been targets of the Iranian regime’s terrorism,” and needed protection. The statement said the MEK members at the camp “have always welcomed friends, dignitaries and journalists from Albania and other countries, both in their current and previous residences. But they are vigilant and experienced enough not to welcome the Iranian regime’s agents.”

Unable to draw new recruits, the organisation is aging and greying, and many of the members might choose to remain in the camp for fear of the outside world.

“They are very lost people,” says retired Colonel Ylli Zyla, a former Albanian counter-terror and intelligence official. “On average they are more than 50 years old. They are slowly, slowly dying off one by one. They don’t have any useful professional backgrounds. All of them are brainwashed.”

Most days, the cadres seem to be deployed on the social media battleground, in an attempt to give an illusion of the popularity the group lacks on the ground.

They spend long hours engaged in Twitter wars against supporters of the Tehran government or even Islamic Republic opponents who also publicly oppose the MEK. “We are told to attack accounts of people who are opposed to or critical of the MEK,” says Heyrani. “Or we would retweet [MEK head] Maryam Rajavi’s speeches.”

They were also told to pretend to take political identities other than MEK supporters. “They would tell us right now the environment is not good for us,” he recalls, in an allegation that was confirmed by other defectors. “They would say that because of the propaganda against us by the regime, it’s better to pretend we’re monarchists, or just Iranian democracy activists.”

Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the MEK, on Twitter denounced allegations that the group was running a troll factory in Albania as “preposterous”, calling it a narrative “dictated” by Iranian intelligence officers to international media. The video for the group shows a room full of computers, with members collecting video of protests inside Iran ..."

Posted by: Jen | Jul 21 2020 6:29 utc | 40

How Western anarchists can support Ayatollahs or CCP cadre will never seize to amaze me.

Posted by: Antonym | Jul 21 2020 2:23 utc | 27

US good, eh? Whatever Ayatollahs do is always bad, isn't it? Always believe the US MSM, they never lie.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 21 2020 7:36 utc | 41

My neutral 2 cents.

Posted by: murgen | Jul 20 2020 21:32 utc | 15

Trumpies always think they are being neutral, for some unfathomable reason. MAGA.

Posted by: Laguerre | Jul 21 2020 7:41 utc | 42

Compared to the five-eyes media warriors, I have to say the french prostitutes sure have class.

I guess that's why they are still able to hold their little empire in Africa together. Though five eye attacks via ISIS seemed to bring the frogs under control a few years back.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 7:53 utc | 43

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 6:29 utc | 39 I had the impression Israel was willing to take the hits if Hezbollah and Iran could be destroyed. I think Putin ended those dreams when he placed the Russian nuclear umbrella over Iran.

Israel can't afford to take the hits from Hezbollah. Iran's missiles would be mostly hitting US assets in the region. They won't waste more than a few on Israel. That Israel can handle. Hezbollah hasn't anyone to shoot at except Israel. And they've got enough missiles to keep all Israelis inside bomb shelters 24x7 for months. That would devastate the Israeli economy, tick off the electorate and get the ruling parties kicked out in the next election. The Israeli leaders can't afford that.

Putin hasn't extended the nuclear umbrella over Iran. Sure, he calls Iran an "ally." But there's no mutual defense treaty. He's not risking nuclear war with the US over Iran, that would get him kicked out of office and justifiably so. His job is to advance Russian interests, not Iran's. Anyway, no one is going to use nukes against Iran - not Israel and not the US - due to geopolitical considerations, so having a "nuclear umbrella" is irrelevant. Any war with Iran will be conventional (and on Iran's part, asymmetric.)

Israel wants Iran destroyed (never mind whether that's actually feasible.) So do the US neocons. That hasn't changed and won't change until the Israeli state is destroyed. And even Hezbollah can't do that, other than damaging the economy. The sole problem for Israel is that it can't take out Hezbollah on its own - it's going to need direct and significant US help to do that (if it's even doable, which is by no means certain.)

So everything sits tight until Israel can somehow convince the US to go to war in Lebanon. This has been the case for 14 years (except for the war in Syria, which was a plot to enable the US to take out Syria and give Israel a second front into Lebanon through the Bekaa Valley - that's what Putin wrecked when Russia intervened). But that doesn't change the desires of Israel and the neocons. Until those change, the risk of war remains.

Posted by: Richard Steven Hack | Jul 21 2020 7:59 utc | 44

I like how hard data is used to decide on the baseline with which to compare the reports on incidents. The idea that Israel or CIA is behind all of it is not just propaganda. The idea will occur just as well, and will be credible just as well to someone who expects the worst malicious acts of Israel. That is the main distinction to make. Yes Israel/US are malicious enough to do such things, but did they actually do them?

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 21 2020 11:48 utc | 45

@39 Peter AU1: "I had the impression Israel was willing to take the hits if Hezbollah and Iran could be destroyed."

Back in 2006 Israel was more than willing to take a few inconsequential hits in order to destroy Hezbollah.

Until, of course, Hezbollah started thumping Israel and taking the IDF to the cleaners, at which point the Izzies realized that perhaps this wasn't the best plan they ever came up with.

Iron Mike had it exactly right: Everyone has a plan... until you smack 'em in the mouth.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 21 2020 11:57 utc | 46

Tuyzentfloot @45

I think the western mass media wants to make it look like the CIA and Mossad can get away with mischief in Iran whenever they want, but the evidence seems to lean towards countries like Iran and China having been relatively successful in crippling the networks that the Five Eyes use to gather intelligence and arrange sabotage.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2020 12:14 utc | 47

@william Gruff, I think mass media can be crudely identified by whom they consider trustworthy, and if Israel insinuates they are behind the incidents that is good enough proof, especially if other trustworthy sources like the NYTimes concur. No intent to manipulate required from the mass media. There are those who willingly manipulate but that is only a fraction and it doesn't explain the rest.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 21 2020 12:32 utc | 48

Iran says ready to extend 20-year cooperation deal with Russia

Posted by: LOYAL | Jul 21 2020 12:50 utc | 49

Whatever happened to the second round of oil tankers from Iran to Venezuela? I assume that is close to happening.

Seems that this propaganda helps to increase tensions prior to that.

Will USA says that Iran is shipping more than oil - weapons too? Because mysterious attacks that the regime attributes to CIA?

Must .. restock .. popcorn.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 12:52 utc | 50

IMO, The campaign by directors of the American press is targeted at the Chinese. It appears to me that the standard MO of the CIA is to create some sort of a scandal just prior to some important constructive event to upset the deal. In this case it would be the $400 billion+ deal between Iran, China, and Russia.

Patrick Lawrence of Consortium News, yesterday, penned a report based upon a report on of a game changing deal that will significantly alter the dynamic of the Middle East and make the situation for the US and Israel much more grim, and give much needed relief to Iran.

The fascinating bit in the article for me was the part showing the Americans have only themselves to blame, as they were the ones that pushed the Russians, Iranians, and Chinese into an economic alliance. I wonder to what extent the Americans will go to scotch the deal.

Posted by: Michael | Jul 21 2020 14:07 utc | 51

@45 Tuyzenfloot & @47 William Gruff - also Peter AU1 and Jen

It seems the main thrust of b's article here is the study he cites that compared these industrial incidents in 2020 and shows that they are less than in 2019. This seems the key point.

What we are seeing is not a flood of incidents but a flood of propaganda. This has changed the "Major Inarticulate Premise" underlying a lot of the theorizing in several comments in this thread. The underlying premise we've all been given - and have absorbed until b's citation corrects this premise - is that this is a busy year for seeming accidents.

But it's not a busy year. It's a slow year. This is why b posted his article, to point out the proof of this.

While we spot and ridicule the obvious hasbara comments in the threads, it seems our background impressions and the baselines for our thinking are being altered less noticeably - manipulated in fact.

Many thanks to b and to Professor Marandi, and to the source study cited here, for correcting these manipulations.


Can we now stop talking about the wickedness of Israel and instead look at its fear and weakness? All efforts to predict the future, especially concerning the diminishing odds of any true warfare against Iran, should stem from these baselines, not from the baselines implanted by its only remaining weapon, of propaganda.

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 21 2020 14:12 utc | 52

Tuyzentfloot @48: "There are those [in the mass media] who willingly manipulate but that is only a fraction and it doesn't explain the rest."

The United States is a country at war. This is not an abstraction or exaggeration. This is a state of affairs that all American presstitutes are acutely aware of. They are also acutely aware that America's enemies are constantly waging active information warfare against the American public's will to fight. OK, that last "truth" is entirely in their (presstitutes) imaginations, but they fully believe it nonetheless. This is part of why 100% of the western mass media totally bought into the whole Russiagate nonsense.

These presstitutes are convinced beyond any question whatsoever that America is under attack by shadowy and inscrutable forces lurking out of sight in the world and launching endless information warfare against capitalism, "Freedom©" (we have a copyright on that, so don't you dare try to use it without paying licensing fees!), Chevrolet, and apple pie. All presstitutes, including even the gossip columnists and the even more useless ones who are paid to do video game reviews, are fully sensitized to the fact that they are the front line troops in America's defense against these attacks. After all, who would ever criticize capitalism or American "Freedom©" products like the ones we gifted to Libya unless they were being brainwashed by incredibly powerful propaganda from such evil entities as Assad or Maduro or Putin? The eternal goodness of capitalism and the universal benevolence of America's "Rules-Based Order" and the awesomeness of the "Freedom©" products that it makes available for the peoples of the world to purchase are so self-evident that the only possible explanation for people rejecting those things is that they are under the influence of sinister evil masterminds. It is the presstitutes' duty to god, nation, and mom to fight those hidden evil masterminds with every skill at their disposal.

I shit thee not: American presstitutes view themselves as Rambo with a keyboard, valiantly defending American "Freedom©" products. They take this duty absolutely seriously. The are convinced that it is OK to lie because they are only countering lies coming from those "others" who are attacking America. Of course, in reality there are no lies from "others" that need countering, and so the only lies being told are the ones the presstitutes themselves are telling. This is completely outside the presstitutes' conceptual framework built around American exceptionality, so it never occurs to them that they are the source for almost all of the divergence from reality in the West.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2020 14:42 utc | 53

Grieved @Jul21 14:12 #52

instead look at its fear and weakness

Many see this as an excuse for wickedness.

... only remaining weapon, of propaganda.

Have you forgotten Stuxnet? Have you failed to notice the missile attacks on Syrian territory? Do you reject the claims that Israel has nukes? Is it merely Israeli propaganda that caused USA to defy the UN and recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, Golan as Israeli territory, and 'green light' an annexation of the West Bank?


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Jul 21 2020 14:54 utc | 54

Grieved @52

Well, that is kinda my point. All of those media sources propaganda spigots that our host links are big and reputable outfits that have the capacity to do research before they print, so they should have been able to figure out what one guy living in a relatively quiet corner of Germany could easily see. Sure our host may be more intelligent than the entire collected brainpower of most western newsrooms, but that doesn't explain all of those big newsrooms getting it wrong in the same way, and in chorus to boot.

These instances of western mass media being demonstrably (and synchronously!) wrong across its entire breadth should not be dismissed. The fact is that these capitalist mass media outlets have to be aware that they are disinforming. Pointing out how painfully stupid individuals in these organizations are can only excuse so much. In truth, these disinformation campaigns are deliberate and coordinated, and there is literally nobody within that corporate mass media willing to spill the beans to the public about the existence of these campaigns.

That would be treason.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2020 15:05 utc | 55

@33 truck vids

Dang. Cold form the beams back into shape, a little stick weld to hold it together, back on the road! The next time it breaks should be fun. But until then, new truck!

Ball joint job, OTOH, was painful to watch.

Posted by: ptb | Jul 21 2020 15:16 utc | 56

@ 40 jen.. thanks... interesting article... i think i have read some of that before here at moa on the albania troll farm...

Posted by: james | Jul 21 2020 15:37 utc | 57

Lavrov and Zarif hold joint presser after Moscow talks (YouTube).

Posted by: S | Jul 21 2020 15:50 utc | 58

ptb @56

That welding sure was horrible, but how much of that was due to a really crappy and unstable power supply and contaminated homemade electrodes made from coat hangers? I've seen pros working with a junk rig, but it is never pretty.

Posted by: William Gruff | Jul 21 2020 15:58 utc | 59

the MOA website has been buried in the google search. in the past 48 hours. all sorts of other stuff pops up at the top now. you must really be rubbing someone the wrong way.

Posted by: Otavio | Jul 21 2020 16:09 utc | 60

The idea of the baseline used in topic article: when assessing deliberate manipulation it is easy to get the normal level of incidents without manipulation' wrong and ascribe a lot of stuff to manipulation while it happens spontaneously. There can be manipulation there but it is more indirect: the US caused a degradation of infrastructure which causes more accidents.

The parallel I draw is that it is the same with propaganda: there is a self organizing baseline which is already quite high. In sincere manner most people amplify voluntarily and spontaneously the theory that Israel is behind the incidents because they consider themselves as going on reliable clues. The baseline is this self organizing cloud.
Propaganda is not so much about influencing the individual as it is about nudging this 'cloud' of people and ideas in certain directions.

In relation to China for instance propaganda builds up a general level of distrust. This is the 'nudging' part. After that the cloud of ideas does the rest. Everyone I know around me now will approach any claim from China with deep distrust and come up with funny theories about the ugly reality behind innocent Chinese claims. We might think all these new theories are propaganda but they can very well be spontaneous and usually are.

The mighty wurlitzer is only nudging the cloud, it is not making up all the theories.

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Jul 21 2020 17:07 utc | 61

The first chassis repair job link I put up had already had the chassis beefed up to three layers before it was bent in an accident and didn't show it being riveted back together.

William Gruff
Doesn't seem to be a problem with power or electrodes. They strike an arc well and don't stick. In most repair videos I've seen from Pakistan they use a spot welding technique - could be that they can't adjust amps, or perhaps that is just the way they have learnt to weld.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 18:46 utc | 62


b will most likely be proved correct in one or two being possible sabotage, the rest being normal accidents. Jen mentioning the number of repair shops in Iran reminded me of the videos I had seen from Pakistan. With Iran being under sanctions for so long, much of the civil sector is likely to be similar to Pakistan in that everything has to be constantly repaired rather than replaced and these gas explosions and so forth look to be mostly in the civil sector.

As for Israel, most Americans prefer to think they have been taken over by Israel. Americans aren't bad people, it's just that mossad and Israeli zionists snuck in and raped them when they weren't looking....

In the US, there is the 25% voting block made up of the evangelicals, but there is also the Tehran embassy drama which Americans like Trump can never forgive. It shamed their exceptional nation.

Posted by: Peter AU1 | Jul 21 2020 19:02 utc | 63

This is why I don't ever rely on your Iran assessments.
Consider the possibility you are wrong about a few others.

Posted by: Florin N. | Jul 22 2020 3:19 utc | 64

People underestimate the Factions Involved:

1953 Coup Beneficiaries
Shah. Shah Supporters.

Others who don't want IRN to Pipe their Petroleum+NatGas to Europe.

ISR - have previously Killed Nuclear Scientists and Engineers. PNAC7.

Persian Jewish + Christians. Met several. Some come here to USA Illegally. Most dont like the Zionist Khazar-Ashkenazi in the Knesset; and IIRC, the Chief Rabbinate don't recognize them as an Official Sect of Judaism.

Yet, they will support ISR. When Achmedenijad(sp?) was raising a Few Eyebrows, One Persian Jewish acquaintance told me that his Relatives in IRN would be sacrificed to ensure that ISR would get their First Strikes in.

And Finally, those who want to Scorch-Earth IRN based on their Treaty/Agreements with CHN.

IRN and RUS will Supply the PetroCNY-Au Schemes and the SCO/1B1R Projects.

IRN sell their Petroleum+NatGas to Customers via the Customers' Currency, Gold (IIRC), and Barter.

Soon, EurAsia will have the option to acquire Petroleum+NatGas outside of the PetroUSD.

Anyone care to Wager that CHN_IRX will persistently PX lower than what the USA + GBR can Offer? ^_^

Posted by: IronForge | Jul 22 2020 5:50 utc | 65

Posted by: Grieved | Jul 21 2020 14:12 utc | 52

The fear of zionists is self produced as consequence of their crimes against humanity and of course when you know you are a guilty murderer invader you can have some kind of fear.It's all a consequence of their actions since the birth of zionism.They deserve that fear but it will not stop them unfortunately..About weakness..which weakness?They a are dirty military power in the war mongering alliance so their weakness is relative..You can't think a cancer is will expand more and more if it is not removed.

Posted by: LuBa | Jul 22 2020 14:07 utc | 66

You pandemic bullshit gets very, very old. Drop your propaganda, you're today just another anti-America hater spewing kep media crap..

Posted by: Tony B. | Jul 23 2020 18:51 utc | 67

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