NYT: Natanz attack “dealt a severe blow to Iran’s ability to enrich uranium.”
While Iran continues to cover up the details surrounding Sunday’s attack at the Natanz nuclear facility, new revelations point to significant damage to Tehran’s top uranium enrichment site. Latest reports suggest that an explosion may have destroyed Iran’s newly commissioned advanced centrifuges.
The new generation of nuclear centrifuges was unveiled amid great fanfare by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in a televised ceremony on Saturday, marking the regime-choreographed “national nuclear day.”
The centrifuges were meant to boost enriched uranium production, a key component of any nuclear arsenal.
The planned propaganda coup turned into a monumental embarrassment for Tehran when an “electrical accident” took out the nuclear centrifuges less than a day after the highly publicized inauguration.
The Sunday disaster is a massive setback to Tehran as it holds mediated nuclear talks with President Joe Biden’s administration in Vienna, Austria.
The Associated Press reported the extent of damage done to the newly-unveiled centrifuges:
[Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman] Khatibzadeh acknowledged that IR-1 centrifuges, the first-generation workhorse of Iran’s uranium enrichment, had been damaged in the attack, but did not elaborate. State television has yet to show images from the facility. However, the facility seemed to be in such disarray that, following the attack, a prominent nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi walking above ground at the site fell 7 meters (23 feet) through an open ventilation shaft covered by aluminum debris, breaking both his legs and hurting his head.
#BREAKING: Intelligence officials tell the New York Times: "It could take Iran 9 months to recover from Natanz setback. a large explosion in Natanz completely destroyed the internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges that enrich uranium"
— Amichai Stein (@AmichaiStein1) April 12, 2021
The New York Times, citing U.S. and Israeli intelligence officials, reported a large explosion at the rogue nuclear site, which destroyed an internal power system connected to the new advanced centrifuges.
The NYT on Monday reported:
Two intelligence officials briefed on the damage said it had been caused by a large explosion that completely destroyed the independent — and heavily protected — internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges that enrich uranium.
The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a classified Israeli operation, said that 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.
The mainstream media has begun speculating Israel’s role in the attack. Many news outlets cited Israeli public radio Kan claims, which portrayed the incident in Natanz as a cyberattack carried out by the intelligence agency Mossad. A cyberattack in 2010 caused massive damage to centrifuges in Natanz nuclear site.
“There are indications that the disruptions in Natanz were the result of a cyberattack, and, as always, all eyes are on Israel when these things happen,” The Jerusalem Post noted.
While the derailing of Iran’s uranium production in Natanz might well have been another daring Mossad operation, Sunday’s breach in Iran’s most secure nuclear site could not have been possible without the active involvement of courageous Iranian nationals on the ground — an embarrassing fact for Tehran to admit.
The Israeli government did not confirm its involvement. Officials generally refrain from commenting on Israel’s covert and anti-terrorist operations.
Intelligence sources tell me: Israel is behind the activity in Natanz. This is an Israeli cyber operation in which the Mossad was involved. The damage to the Natanz facility is greater than reported in Iran
— Gili Cohen (@gilicohen10) April 11, 2021
Despite covering up facts surrounding the incident, the Iranian regime points its fingers at Israel.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who is currently holding nuclear negotiations with the Biden administration, vowed to attack Israel. Iran will “take revenge on the Zionists,” President Biden’s much-feted “partner for peace” declared on Monday.
The Reuters news agency reported Iranian threats after the Natanz attack:
Iran on Monday accused arch-foe Israel of sabotaging its key Natanz nuclear site and vowed revenge for an attack that appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war. (…)
On Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif explicitly blamed Israel. “The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions… We will not fall into their trap…We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks,” Zarif was quoted by state TV as saying.
“But we will take our revenge against the Zionists.”
Who is truly protecting the American interest – Netanyahu's Israel or the Biden administration? | "[T]he 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." | https://t.co/OVwCGjhqhY
— Mike (@Doranimated) April 12, 2021
Following the Natanz attack, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is heading to Brussels to discuss Iran and other Europeans’ issues, media reports say.
The European Union was among the first to “condemned” the attack on Iran’s nuclear weapons infrastructure. “We reject any attempts to undermine or weaken diplomatic efforts on the nuclear agreement,” EU spokesman Peter Stano said on Monday, admitting that “we still need to clarify the facts” connected to the incident.
The EU is currently mediating nuclear talks between the Biden administration and Iran at a summit in Austria to restore the Obama-era deal.
Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz on Natanz incident:DONATE
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