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Israeli nuclear terrorism exemplified by cyber attack on Natanz facility

A handout picture provided by the Iranian presidential office on April 10, 2021, shows a screen grab from a teleconference showing views of centrifuges and devices at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant, as well as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani. (PressTV)

Iran's nuclear facilities in the central city of Natanz came under, yet another, Israeli attack. According to Israeli media, intelligence sources are saying it was an Israeli cyber attack.

Former Israeli Minister of Military Affairs Moshe Ya'alon said he hopes no one in Israel will take responsibility for the Natanz incident implicitly.

Ya'alon said there are things where silence is always beautiful.

The spokesperson for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, Behrooz Kamalvandi, said the incident affected part of the electricity distribution network of Natanz.

He said the attack caused no casualties or contamination, adding that an investigation into the matter is currently underway.

Iran's nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi, condemned the incident as an act of nuclear terrorism. He said the futile and desperate enemy move was aimed at blocking Iran's eye catching nuclear progress.

He called on the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency to respond to this act of terrorism. Iran's foreign ministry also accused Israel of being behind the cyber attack on the Natanz nuclear facility, pledging that Tehran will retaliate.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh, slammed the Israeli sabotage of the facility as an act of nuclear terrorism.

What happened in Natanz was a bold act of nuclear terrorism on Iranian soil. There has been no casualty or contamination reported, but it could have very much resulted in a catastrophic situation. So, it is, it can be considered under the category of crimes against humanity.

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson, Saeed Khatibzadeh

Khatibzadeh said Iran reserves the right to respond in kind, under Article 51 of the UN Charter, which states: “Nothing in the present Charter shall impair the inherent right of individual or collective self-defence if an armed attack occurs against a Member of the United Nations, until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security. Measures taken by Members in the exercise of this right of self-defence shall be immediately reported to the Security Council and shall not in any way affect the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the present Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.”

The spokesperson noted that Iran has started communications with international authorities in this regard, he also stressed that the incident at Natanz will not slow down Iran's nuclear programme, and will instead speed up the country's nuclear advancement.

He said the centrifuges damaged in the incident were the IR 1 type, and that they will be replaced with the most advanced centrifuges Iran has developed.

US support for Israel

The attack on the Natanz nuclear facility happened on the same day the US Defence Secretary visited Israel for the first time in this capacity.

As a major strategic partner for the United States, our bilateral relationship with Israel in particular is central to regional stability and security in the Middle East. During our meeting I reaffirmed to minister Gants our commitment to Israel is enduring and it is ironclad.

Lloyd J Austin, US Secretary of Defense

For many the visit might be carrying a message.

One has to assume, especially while the Defence Secretary is visiting Israel, because it would be hugely embarrassing, so the assumption has to be that the US knew this attack was going to take place and did not say not to do it. Otherwise, there would have to be some kind of a protest by the United States to the Israeli Government for doing it.

David Lindorff, Investigative Journalist

Not the first time

The attack on the Natanz nuclear facility is not the first act of terror by the Israeli regime against the Islamic Republic of Iran.

A centrifuge assembly line at Natanz was subjected to a bombing in July last year, which Iran described as an act of sabotage.

The head of the Israeli intelligence agency, Yossi Cohan, told The New York Times at the time that Israel had detonated a bomb at the facilty.

In November 2020 a prominent nuclear physicists, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was assassinated in a terrorist attack near the Iranian capital Tehran.

His name had been mentioned multiple times in a presentation in 2018 by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during which he repeated baseless claims about the Iranian nuclear energy programme.

Netanyahu described the scientists as a director of Iran's nuclear programme and threatened "remember that name, Fakhrizadeh”.

Apart from Fakhrizadeh a number of other Iranian scientists have also fallen victim to Israeli terrorism.

Ardeshir Hosseinpour, Massoud Ali Mohammadi. Majid Shahriari, Dariush Rezainejhad, Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, are all on that list.

But as far as the Natanz attack is concerned, it came a day after Iran brought online several cascades of advanced centrifuges in the facility.

The incident also comes at a time when Teheran is holding talks with the remaining signatories to the Iran nuclear deal in the Austrian capital Vienna.

The negotiations are aimed at removing the US sanctions on the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Well, for Israel to do it at this time, the assumption again would be that they're trying to mess up those negotiations and make it hard for the United States to come to an agreement with Iran. You know it'll be harder for the US,  I imagine, to go back by taking off the sanctions.

David Lindorff, Investigative Journalist

All in all what is almost certain is the fact that Israel will leave no stone unturned to hamper Iran's nuclear advancements by carrying out such acts of terrorism.

Tel Aviv also tries its best to prevent the United States from reaching a deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran to remove the sanctions, which have crippled the lives of millions of Iranians, but many are also pointing the finger at the US in the case of the Natanz sabotage, and other terrorist attacks by the Israeli regime, arguing that Israel doesn't commit such acts of terror without Washington's blessing.


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