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Israel inviting ‘serious risk’ with media hype about Natanz blast

Picture provided by IRNA shows the aftermath of a recent explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.

An Iranian news outlet says an Israeli media campaign that aims to create the impression that Tel Aviv was behind a recent explosion at an Iranian nuclear facility could invite “serious risks” for the occupying regime.

In an investigative report, Nour News that is affiliated to Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), the Islamic Republic’s top security body, said the regime has launched “an all-out media operation to lend plausibility to Israel’s role” in a series of recent incidents in Iran, including the blast at the Natanz nuclear site.

The media operation, it added, has been launched because “Israel and its backers are fearful of Iran’s resolute response and do not dare to cross the Islamic Republic’s redlines. They, therefore, are trying [instead] to realize their dreams by planning and implementing propagandist scenarios and psychological operations.”

On Thursday, Iran said the incident had affected a shed under construction at the complex, but caused no casualties and failed to stop the enrichment work there. Tehran has not officially declared whether it was an accident or an act of sabotage, but the SNSC said the main cause has been determined and would be announced at an appropriate time.

Also on Thursday, Behrouz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said the incident had neither stopped nor slowed down routine operations at the facility.

Various reports across Israeli or Israeli-allied media outlets have, meanwhile, been trying to establish credit for the regime for carrying out an alleged attack on the Natanz site.

These included remarks by an unnamed “Middle Eastern intelligence officer,” who claimed credit on the part of Tel Aviv for the incident.

This is while some Israeli officials, who have been asked about the possibility of the regime’s involvement in the blast, have neither confirmed nor denied its involvement, with Israeli minister for military affairs Benny Gantz saying, “Not every event that happens in Iran is necessarily related to us.”

Gantz predecessor Avigdor Lieberman was also soon to rage against the alleged unnamed official’s remarks by telling the Israeli Army Radio on Monday that the purported figure “not only explains what we did, but also what we didn’t do.” Lieberman strongly suggested that the alleged official was Yossi Cohen, head of the regime’s spy agency Mossad, and urged prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu “to keep that senior intelligence official’s mouth shut.”

Nour News said although Israeli officials are apparently trying to avoid the “juvenile game” of portraying the regime as responsible for the Natanz blast, continuation of the propagandist media campaign “will definitely come to affect the entirety of this vulnerable regime.”

The agency said by staging the campaign, Tel Aviv was only pursuing "to portray itself to be powerful" while seeking a “freely-earned benefit.”

Iran’s potential response

However, the masterminds of the media fanfare happen to ignore “Iran’s new social platforms and political circumstances” that could bring about “imponderable reactions” for Israel in case of prolongation of the campaign, the outlet said.

The Iranian society has developed a “deep sense of hatred” towards Israel in light of the regime’s “evil, criminal, and terrorist nature,” it added, noting that by trying to damage the nation’s interests and security through the campaign, the regime would be increasing this sense of repugnance. This, in turn, could translate into more popular pressure on the Iranian government for “serious confrontation and decisive punishment” of Tel Aviv, Nour News said.

The decision-making centers in the Islamic Republic, including Majlis (the Parliament), where potential for all-out confrontation against the Israeli regime has been “considerably reinforced,” could, meanwhile, give the regime “serious reactions”, the agency said.

This, Nour News said, was to be witnessed by the determined stances that were adopted by the lawmakers in the aftermath of the launch of the Israeli media campaign.

In the thick of the Israeli propagandist push, Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf voiced the Islamic Republic’s resolve to confront Israeli hostility.

He referred to an ongoing request by the International Atomic Energy Agency for access to two sites that are claimed by Israeli intelligence services to be related to Iran’s nuclear program, saying the country would not allow the UN nuclear watchdog to “[be the last piece] completing the belligerent states’ espionage and intelligence circle.”

Even if the Iranian people and authorities were to believe the Israeli “lies” about the Natanz incident, this would not strike fear into them or prompt them to retreat, but instead “fan the flames of a rage, which the bogus and vulnerable Zionist regime will not be able to withstand,” the agency concluded.

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