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Iran says foiled Israeli plot to disrupt life of Iranians via gas pipeline attacks

Iran's Oil Minister Javad Owji speaks to reporters following a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Feburary 21, 2024. (Photo by IRNA)

Iran’s oil minister has blamed Israel for twin sabotage attacks on gas pipelines in the country last week, saying the government managed to foil an “evil” plot and repair the pipelines in the shortest time possible.

Speaking to reporters following a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Wednesday, Javad Owji said the regime tried to disrupt the daily life of Iranians but to no avail.

“The explosion of the country’s gas pipelines was an Israeli plot. A unique job was done and the enemy’s plot was foiled,” the minister said.

“There were no gas outages anywhere in the country,” he said, explaining that technicians started repairing the pipeline immediately and managed to finish it in the mountainous region in a very short time.

The February 14 explosions hit pipelines in the cities of Safashahr in the southern province of Fars and Borujen in the southwestern province of Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari.

The attacks disrupted heat and cooking gas supplies in the provinces of North Khorasan in the northeast, Lorestan in the west and Zanjan in the northwest.

The New York Times also reported on Friday that the attacks were organized by Israel, citing two Western officials and a military strategist.

Anti-Iran media outlets had been suggesting assaults on the Iranian energy sector over the past few months, and some US senators had even openly called for bombing Iran’s oil and gas infrastructure.

Last year, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the US should threaten Iranian oil infrastructure if the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas continued to escalate.

"If there is an escalation in this conflict, if hostages start getting killed, if Hezbollah in the north attacks Israel in strength, we should tell Iran we will destroy your oil refineries and your oil infrastructure," Graham said.

"We will put you out of business. Without money coming from Iran and weapons coming from the Iranians, Hamas will be nothing. Hezbollah will be nothing."

Iran has repeatedly asserted that the regional resistance groups act independently and do not take orders or receive finances from the Islamic Republic.

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