Iranian MPs are blaming the government for today’s explosion at the Abadan oil refinery in southwestern Iran.
Hamidreza Katouzian, the head of Parliament’s energy commission, said he had already warned officials of the possibility of such an accident given the current situation, Mehr News Agency reports.
“This explosion is neither a sabotage nor a premediated act; however, it is due to the fact the the refinery was not completely prepared for the launch,” Katouzian said.
Khabar-on-line also reports that MPs had warned against the hasty opening of the Abadan oil refinery, which was rocked today by a blast that killed at least two workers.
Iranian MP Emad Hosseini questioned the government’s motives in rushing the opening of the refinery, saying: “This very incident has caused months of delay in the national project.” It is projected that the unit will produce 4.2 million liters of high quality gasoline per day.
He added that a number of vital tests had not been carried out before the refinery was set for operation.
“We all know that we need to raise our gasoline production, but that does not justify this hasty move by the government,” Hosseini emphasized.
Khabar-on-line cites various reports that the refinery director failed to attend the inauguration ceremony because he was opposed to the hasty launch.
However, the government contends that refinery administrators are to blame for the rushed opening.
Rejanews writes that refinery officials were aware of certain technical difficulties in the test they had run on Friday but, regardless, they proceeded to invite the president to the opening ceremony.
The refinery has announced that today’s explosion has forced it to reduce production by 400 thousand barrels per day but they expect to get back to their regualr production within the next few days.