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Attack On Iran’s Natanz Nuclear Facility

Israel’s Mossad was behind the attack on an Iranian nuclear facility, several Western intelligence officials said Sunday afternoon.

Israel’s army chief has appeared to hint at possible Israeli involvement in an incident at the Natanz nuclear site in Iran, which was described as “terrorist action” by the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency.

According to a report by Channel 13, the Israeli intelligence agency carried out the attack which damaged Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz.

The attack has significantly impaired Iran’s uranium enrichment operations, forcing a temporary halt to all uranium enrichment efforts in the country. Power has yet to be restored to the Natanz facility.

Both main power and power cord damaged in the blast which could leave them unoperational for months

An explosive device was smuggled into the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran and was remotely activated, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Sunday’s explosion caused damage to the main electricity system at the facility, on top of the system granting backup, the report added, citing an unnamed intelligence source.

While the Iranians did not acknowledge the details of the report, remarks by Iran’s head of the Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) hinted at their authenticity.

Natanz is Iran‘s primary enrichment facility and houses both the commercial Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP) and the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant (PFEP).  The facility consists of three underground buildings, two of which are designed to hold 50,000 centrifuges, and six above ground buildings. Two of the above ground buildings are 2,500-meter halls used for gas centrifuge assemblies.  The nuclear material and enrichment equipment located at the FEP and PFEP are under IAEA safeguards.

Iran covertly moved its gas centrifuge research, development, and assembly operations to Natanz from the Kalaye Electric Company in 2002

On 14 August 2002, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) revealed the existence of undeclared nuclear facilities in Iran, including Natanz Enrichment Complex, the address of the Kalaye Electric Company, a heavy water production plant under construction at Arak, and the names of various individuals and front companies involved with the nuclear program.

The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali-Akbar Slahehi called the Sunday attack on Nataz nuclear facility a “sabotage’, saying, it wasn’t an accident and security systems entered into the issue.

Referring to the connections between the Sunday attack and the attack on centrifuge assembly center on 5th July 2020, Ali Akbar Salehi said, “No, these two attacks are different”.

He continued, “The enemy reports that they can delayed Iran nuclear activities for 9 months but I tell you that just in coming days, a significant part of the sabotage committed by the enemy will be compensated”.

Referring to the 5th July attack, Salehi said, “The attack in which they destroyed the modern centrifuge assembly hall was heinous but we revive significant part of that, also we are instructing several advanced halls in the mountain, too”.

He noted that the security systems have found out about the roots of the accident and they will inform the public about it; but they’ve found clues on that.  

However, he said, “Some of the machines are out of circuit following the yesterday attack and some other has to inspect or replace”.

Akbar Salehi, chief of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, said: “Iran reserves the right to respond against the perpetrators, and those who committed the terrorist action,” IRGC reported.

“Today’s attack demonstrates that the enemies of Iran’s progress and advancement in nuclear science, as well as nuclear negotiations, are in desperation committing terrorist actions against the nuclear technology at Natanz [nuclear facility].”

Update on Natanz: Construction Progresses Towards Large-scale Tunnel Complex By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Frank Pabian January 11, 2021     report