The blackout at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility took place hours after its new batch of centrifuges for uranium enrichment were launched.
There are two versions in MSM regarding the incident:
- The NYT reports that it was caused by an explosion.
- The Guardian reports that Israel even admitted to causing it with a cyber-attack.
As per the NYT, a power failure that appeared to have been caused by a deliberately planned explosion struck Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site.
Iranian officials called it an act of sabotage that they suggested had been carried out by Israel.
The NYT report is based on two anonymous intelligence officials briefed on the damage. They said it had been caused by a large explosion that completely destroyed the independent internal power system.
As per the claims, the explosion had dealt a severe blow to Iran’s ability to enrich uranium and that it could take at least nine months to restore Natanz’s production.
This could potentially hamper any leverage Iran had in the unofficial Nuclear Deal negotiations with the US it had.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, described the blackout as an act of “nuclear terrorism” and said the international community must confront the threat.
“The action this morning against the Natanz enrichment site shows the defeat of those who oppose our country’s nuclear and political development and the significant gains of our nuclear industry,” Salehi said. “The incident shows the failure of those who oppose Iran negotiating for sanctions relief.”
Cited by the Guardian, Israeli defence chief, Aviv Kochavi, said the country’s “operations in the Middle East are not hidden from the eyes of the enemy”.
Israel imposed no censorship restrictions on coverage as it had often done after similar previous incidents and the apparent attack was widely covered by Israeli media.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “the struggle against Iran and its proxies and the Iranian armament efforts is a huge mission”.
“The situation that exists today will not necessarily be the situation that will exist tomorrow,” he added.
The US defense secretary, Lloyd Austin, arrived in Tel Aviv on April 11th, partly to sell Washington’s new position to skeptical Israeli officials.
After meeting Austin, Israel’s defence minister, Benny Gantz, said:
“We will work closely with our American allies to ensure that any new agreement with Iran will secure the vital interests of the world, of the United States, prevent a dangerous arms race in our region, and protect the state of Israel.”
Israel appears to be becoming more assertive in protecting its interests and sabotaging Iran. Back in November 2020, Iran’s leading nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated, with the killing blamed on Tel Aviv.
Iran claims that artificial intelligence was used to identify Fakhrizadeh, who was gunned down by a remotely operated automatic weapon. The small lorry carrying the weapon then exploded.
Following the alleged sabotage at the Nataz nuclear facility, Tehran vowed that a response would come.
“The Zionists want to avenge our progress towards lifting the sanctions <…> they have publicly stated that they will not allow this. But we will take revenge on the Zionists,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted by Reuters.
Earlier, a spokesman for the country’s Foreign Ministry called the incident “an act against humanity.”
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- Electrical “Incident” Strikes Iran’s Natanz Nuclear Facility