Top-secret Iranian nuclear facility has been hit five times in the past 15 years, officials say, blaming attacks on “the enemy.”
By Paul Shindman, World Israel News
The head of the Iranian parliamentary energy committee admitted Saturday that the recent explosion at Iran’s Natanz top-secret nuclear development facility was just the latest in a string of incidents there over the years.
In a video interview with Fars News Agency that was reported by the English-language Tehran Times newspaper, Fereydoun Abbasi revealed inside details of how the attack targeted the highly protected site’s electrical grid.
“This is not the first time something similar has happened in Natanz, but the method of sabotage is new. This is not the first time sabotage and the use of explosives have been reported. For the past 15 years, the enemy has been constantly trying to do this,” Abbasi said.
Abbasi admitted that the mysterious explosion last month at Natanz was at least the fifth major attack on the facility.
Originally, Iranian officials had presented the explosion as an “accident” that caused “minor electrical issues.” But in reality, the fire caused by the explosion was devastating for Iran’s nuclear program, and Iranian officials laid the blame on Israel.
According to the New York Times, the incident will set back Iranian production of the fissile material at least nine months. The explosion was so powerful that it reportedly destroyed material below some 20 feet of reinforced concrete.
“This time they targeted the distribution network, the cables, and the spare batteries that supply power,” Abbasi explained, noting that the centrifuges used for enriching uranium are vulnerable to power outages.
“The enemy always plans to cut off the electricity itself, for example, a tower base near Natanz was destroyed once before 2011, but the tower did not fall to cut off the electricity,” Abbasi said.
“They (the enemies) think that we only use external electricity, but this is not the case. They now understand that we do not necessarily use electricity from outside, or if we get it from outside, it may be for other purposes. We get the main electricity from a safer place. So this time their plan was to target the end of the power distribution and the cable coming from the battery at the same time,” Abassi said.
Immediately after the incident, Iran announced it would further violate the 2015 nuclear agreement it signed with the world’s major powers and enrich uranium to 60% purity, a moved condemned by the European Union as having no civilian use.
Iranian political and military leaders have repeatedly stated their national goal is the complete “annihilation” of Israel.
On Friday, the director of Israel’s Mossad spy agency, Yossi Cohen, held face to face talks with U.S. President Joe Biden to present him with Israel’s concerns over Biden’s intention to return to the nuclear agreement and remove sanctions against the rogue regime.