Iranian officials deny missile attack on Dailam

Iranian officials deny missile attack on Dailam

Iranian officials deny missile attack on Dailam 16.02.2005, 20.49 TEHRAN, February 16 (Itar-Tass) - An official in the mayor’s office of Dailam, a city in the southern province of Bushehr, on Wednesday denied reports about a missile attack. MehrNews quoted him as saying that no one in Dailam had heard the noise of a plane. He made an assumption that it might have been an explosion at an oil plant near the city. A representative of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps also denied these assertions. He said the Arab-language Al Alam television station’s report about an explosion was wrong. Al Alam quoted witnesses as saying that the missile hit the ground and exploded about 20 kilometres from Dailam. It also claimed that Iran’s air defence systems had fired at the plane. The identity of the plane is still not known. It might have belonged to the Iranian Air Force or one of the local airlines. The military official said no missile had been fired at the city, and no plane fuel tank had fallen off. “We deny that,” he said. An official in the Iranian Interior Ministry told journalists that “there was no hostile attack”. In his view, this might have been “an incident” not connected with an aggressive foreign action. A Russian diplomat in Tehran said the explosion in Bushehr had nothing to do with the nuclear power plant that is under construction there. In his words, everything is calm at the construction site, and no incidents have occurred. Russian specialists who are building the nuclear power plant and the plant itself have not been affected by an explosion in this province. “Ten minutes ago we telephoned Bushehr, and all 1,500 of our specialists are safe and sound, and the construction is going by schedule,” an official at the personnel department of Atomstroiexport, the project general contractor, told Itar-Tass. He said the construction site and the residential complex were located about 100 kilometres from the scene of the explosion. “Increased security is a permanent feature in the area of the construction,” the official said, adding, “The explosion will not affect the upcoming visit to Iran by the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Atomic Agency, Alexander Rumyantsev.” Rumyantsev’s trip to Iran was scheduled for February 25-27. He will visit the nuclear power plant in Bushehr, as well as will meet with Vice President Gholam Reza Aghazadeh, who is also the head of the national Nuclear Energy Organization, Federal Agency for Atomic Agency spokesman Nikolai Shingarev told Itar-Tass. “An additional protocol on the return of spent nuclear fuel to Russia is expected to be signed in Tehran as well,” the spokesman added.

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