Signs Iran’s regime is facing collapse

Originally published as an Asia Times exclusive

Recent days have been some of the worst the Iranian regime has suffered, including a series of explosions and fires on an almost daily basis in sensitive military facilities, critical infrastructure or unspecified installations.

Meanwhile Iran’s currency is in free fall. Demonstrations are spreading in major cities. And abroad, its designs to consolidate Syria into a playground of Iranian mercantile interests and a foundation for projecting power directly against Israel have encountered not only expected Israeli, but also Russian pushback.

When a regime like Iran that traffics in ruthless power to survive faces such a string of humiliating displays of incompetence and impotence, it raises serious questions over its longevity.

Known events in Iran

A review of the events unveils the collective enormity of what has happened.

On June 26, a building in the solid-fuel assembly plant of the Khojir missile facility, which also has deal with nuclear-warhead designs, exploded with such force that it was seen 70 kilometers away. At the same time, an explosion and fire destroyed the power plant servicing the southwestern city of Shiraz, plunging it into darkness.

On June 30, an explosion, fire and then hefty secondary explosions ripped through the sub-basement levels of a medical center in northern Tehran. The government arrested some people for unspecified reasons and changed its explanation several times.

On July 2, an explosion, responsibility for which was claimed by an unknown opposition group, the Homeland Panthers, ripped apart the new centrifuge assembly building in the Natanz nuclear center. The Iranian regime has all but admitted this major setback to its enrichment program. The same night, a major complex of unknown use exploded and burned in Shiraz.

On July 3, another enormous fire erupted in the northwest part of Shiraz in an unknown location and facility. The same night, another large fire destroyed an unknown facility in Salmas near Tehran.

On July 4, a fire and explosion in southwest, predominantly Sunni Arab province of Ahvaz destroyed the power plant and further south, at about the same time, the Karoun Petrochemical plant failed and released what was claimed to be chlorine gas, sending about six dozen to hospital.

Early on July 7, a powerful explosion engulfed a warehouse or factory of unknown use in Beqarshahr south of Tehran. This is the same general area in which the Israelis two years ago seized Iran’s nuclear archives, namely Turouzabad-Kharizak, and in which Israel and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) suspect also was a major nuclear warehouse.

About David Wurmser

Dr. David Wurmser is Director of the Center for Security Policy’s Project on Global Anti-Semitism and the US-Israel Relationship. He is a former U.S. Navy Reserve intelligence officer with extensive national security experience working for the State Department, the Pentagon, Vice President Dick Cheney and the National Security Council.