The death toll from an explosion
in a steel factory in the Iranian province of Yazd earlier this week has increased to 16, after nine people seriously hurt in the blast died from their wounds in the hospital.
According to Iranian reports, the blast occurred at the Ghadir-e Yazd Steel factory on Monday evening. The local governor said some of the foreign nationals residing in the province were among the casualties.
While authorities are still investigating the cause of the blast, an Iranian parliament member claimed it was triggered by exploded ammunition, while the governor said it might have been caused by an explosion of gas balloons.
claim the blast may have been connected to Iran's
infamous nuclear program.
Foreign media reports claimed North Korea supplied Iran with steel that is used to produce centrifuges and exhaust-pipes for rocket engines.
On Friday, Russia's customs agency seized
radioactive metal from the luggage of a passenger bound for Iran.
Russia's Interfax news agency said the pieces contained Sodium-22, a radioactive isotope of sodium that could only be produced at a nuclear reactor.
Also on Friday, South Korea announced that it intends to impose new sanctions on Iran, adding more than 100 names to a financial blacklist of Iranian firms and individuals.
South Korea has added 99 Iranian firms and six individuals to 24 individuals and 102 Iranian entities blacklisted by Seoul in September last year.
Those on the blacklist will require approval from South Korea's Central Bank before conducting any foreign currency transactions.