The Week in Review: July 3rd – July 10th

More blasts across several locations in Iran were reported this week. The first, on July 4, at a power station in the city of Ahvaz, involved a fire which led to a partial electricity outage in the area.

The second explosion took place on July 9, in a western Tehran suburb which also led to a temporary power cut. An official in the area denied that a blast had occurred but confirmed that there had been a temporary power outage.

The explosions are the latest in a series of blasts, some of which have taken place near sensitive military and nuclear sites. Israel has hinted that it may be behind the attacks, but has not confirmed its involvement.

Several Iranian officials who spoke to Reuters said the incidents were cyber attacks, while the head of Iran’s civilian defence said Iran would retaliate against countries that targeted its nuclear sites.

The Iranian government said it had put together a trade deal with China that would see the countries working together over a 25 year period. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said details of the deal would be announced once the terms had been finalized.

Media outlets have reported that the deal may include $400bn of investment in Iran’s economy, with the deployment of up to 5,000 Chinese security personnel to man Iran’s energy and petrochemical assets.

Experts have expressed concern that the deal could lead to China having significant control over Iran’s economy and resources.

Another deal, this time between Iran and Syria was also announced. The military agreement enables Iran to support Syria’s air defense systems and paves the way for closer ties between the two countries.

The agreement, which the countries say is designed to counter terrorism and push back against American pressure, demands the withdrawal of foreign forces inside Syria.

And the U.S. said it had seized Iranian weapons making their way to Houthi rebels in Yemen. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. had detained a boat in June carrying arms to the Houthis, and asked the UN to extend an Iran arms embargo set out in the nuclear deal. The Iranian government has denied the claim.