At 4 pm Iran time yesterday, an explosion reportedly took place in the city of Qazvin. Located 150 km northwest of Tehran. Qazvin has a population of approximately 400,000 souls.
The explosion took place at a motor oil factory and then spread to a wood factory next door.
Initially, no one claimed responsibility for the explosion, until today.
According to the Iran based Jam News, a Salafist organization from Lebanon by the name of (Liwa Ahrar al-Sunna Baalbek – احرار السنه بعلبک) meaning “The Free Sunni Brigade of Baalbek” stated on its twitter account that it was behind the explosions. The group claims that the bombing was in retaliation to a recent statement by the former IRGC commander and current Ayatollah Khamenei adviser Genenral Yahya Safavi that Iran’s front line is in “Southern Lebanon”. This statement angered some Sunnis, including at least one Saudi publication.
The same group has claimed responsibility for other recent attacks against Hezbollah. This includes the assassination of senior Hezbollah commander Hasan Al Laqis in Beirut last December. Hezbollah blamed Israel for the assassination.
So far, the authorities in Tehran have not reacted to the statement by the shadowy Sunni group which claims to be opposed to Hezbollah’s participation in the Syrian civil war.
At this stage, its difficult to say whether the group is telling the truth. Perhaps what happened in Qazvin was an accidental explosion, which occurs everywhere. Iran is not the only country where there are fires and explosions at the workplace.
But if the group is telling the truth, then it would be the first time that a foreign based Salafist group has gotten so close to Tehran. The bigger question would be: why Qazvin and why this factory? was it because an easy target?
For now, we just don’t know. Perhaps time will tell.