Satellite images of the purported site of the overnight blast in Tehran's suburbs suggest that it took place on the territory of the complex tasked with building missiles, AP reported, citing the information from the images.
According to the AP, an area located 20 kilometres east of Tehran charred from the explosion could be seen in photos. The site hosts Iran’s Khojir missile facility of the Shahid Bakeri Industrial Group, which manufactures solid-propellant rockets, according to Fabian Hinz, a researcher at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies in Monterey, cited by the AP.
Experts from the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, cited by the news agency, in turn, said that Khojir purportedly has "numerous tunnels, some suspected of use for arms assembly". The International Atomic Energy Agency has previously said Iran might have conducted tests of explosives for nuclear weapons on the site where the overnight blast purportedly took place, but they didn't have solid evidence to prove Tehran indeed performed such tests. Iran strongly denies allegations that it is pursuing the development of nuclear weapons.
Iranian Defence Minister Davoud Abdi announced on 26 June that the explosion was caused by a leak in one of the gas tanks. The AP says, citing satellite images, that the Khojir facility indeed hosts gas storage. At the same time, Iranian officials stated that the blast took place in a "public area" that was uninhabited and thus led to no casualties.