Israel has once again severely dented Iran’s plan to develop nuclear weapons, intelligence agencies of Tehran have found out. Israeli spy agency Mossad severely destroyed the power supply system of Iran’s main nuclear plant in Natanz using a bomb. It will now take Iran at least nine months to enrich uranium again. The alleged Mossad action has provoked Iran, with the Iranian foreign ministry threatening “revenge”.
Natanz is a city and capital of Natanz County, Isfahan Province, Iran, from which the reactor gets its name.
Iran has termed the Mossad action as “nuclear terrorism”. It was a loud explosion that plunged the entire nuclear facility into darkness. The ‘attack’ damaged the centrifuge of the core of the reactor used for enriching uranium.
The explosion has once again raised questions about the safety of the Iranian nuclear power plant, which is otherwise under heavy security. The internal power system used to run centrifuges that augmented nuclear power.
The Natanz centre was so far considered one of the safest sites in Iran. Sources said that Iran was making plans for enriching uranium and making nuclear bombs. Mossad has carried out this attack at a time when Iran stepped up the work of uranium enrichment. Iran claims that its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes, but international bodies doubt its claim.
Iran today blamed Israel for attacking the underground Natanz nuclear centre. Iran has warned that it will avenge the attack. This comment by Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzada is the first time the official blamed Israel for the Sunday incident.
The incident led to power loss at the nuclear centre. Israel has not directly claimed responsibility for the attack. However, its hand was suspected, with media reports saying a cyberattack by Israel caused the power failure.
If Israel is responsible for the attack, it will further increase tensions between the two countries that are already on the path of confrontation. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin yesterday, has vowed that he will do what is in his power to disable the nuclear threat. Khatibzada said, “We will answer the attack on Natanz by exacting revenge. Israel will get the answer in a befitting way.” He did not elaborate on this.
Khatibzada believed that Mossad wanted to damage the IR-1 centrifuge with this attack. However, he did not provide more information about this.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Jawad Zarif said that Tehran would build Natanz with more advanced machinery and that this would jeopardise the ongoing negotiations in Vienna to save the nuclear deal. Iran’s official news agency Irana quoted Zarif as saying, “The Jewish people wanted to take revenge on the Iranian people for their success on the path of lifting the ban.” He said, “But we will not allow this to happen and will avenge this act from the Jews.”
The IAEA, the United Nations body that monitors Tehran’s nuclear programme, had previously said it was aware of media reports about the Natanz incident and had spoken to Iranian authorities about it.
Natanz has been targeted before. The Stuxnet computer virus had once destroyed Iranian centrifuges at Natanz. US-Israel-manufactured Stuxnet was discovered in 2010.
A mysterious explosion had occurred in July 2020 at the advanced centrifuge plant at Natanz. Iran’s regional enemy Israel has been sus[ected for the attack on the Iranian nuclear plant. Iran blamed Israel for killing the scientist who began the country’s military nuclear programme decades ago.
Several Israeli media institutions reported yesterday that a cyberattack caused the disruption in the power supply at Natanz. Government broadcaster Kahn said Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad, was behind the attack. Channel 12 TV, citing ‘experts’, said that all areas of the unit had been affected due to the disrupted power supply.