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Air raid sirens wail in Tehran; official blames ‘technical mishap’

Residents of Iranian capital spooked by late night alarm; no reports of injuries or damage

Illustrative: Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, Iran, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Illustrative: Tehran's Imam Khomeini airport, Iran, July 17, 2020. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Air raid sirens sounded in western Tehran late Friday night, alarming city residents.

An Iranian official told the semi-official Tasnim news agency the sirens were set off by a technical mishap and there were no security threats.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

The alarm appeared to be connected to a Turkish airlines flight in the area and poor weather conditions, according to the Al Arabiya Arabic news outlet.

There were also reports of power outages in the area and disruptions to passenger flights.

The incident comes amid heightened tension in the region as Iranian officials have sparred with American and Israeli leaders in recent weeks.

Iran has carried out fresh breaches of its 2015 nuclear agreement with world powers and the US has made shows of military strength in the Middle East directed at Iran.

Israel Defense Forces chief Aviv Kohavi said Tuesday he had directed the military to develop fresh operational plans to strike Iran to halt its nuclear program.

Israel and other US allies in the Middle East are concerned about US President Joe Biden’s approach to Iran. Biden is expected to take a softer approach toward Tehran than his predecessor Donald Trump, and has said he will rejoin the nuclear accord, if Iran first returns to its terms.

Last year, the Iranian military accidentally shot down a Ukrainian airliner outside Iran, killing 176 people, amid sky-high tensions following the US killing of Iranian general Qassem Soleimani.

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