Iran on Wednesday announced security services prevented a "sabotage attack" on a civilian nuclear site at a moment JCPOA negotiations in Vienna are said to be headed toward an uncertain conclusion.
The alleged sabotage attempt targeted an Iranian Atomic Energy Organization building in Karaj city, which is northwest of Tehran. Iranian officials gave few details, nor did they reveal the precise form the sabotage took, other than to say the incident "left no casualties or damages and was unable to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program," as the AP reported.
It comes after a string of mysterious incidents throughout the past year which have periodically taken Iranian nuclear and key industrial facilities offline - the most famous of which was the Natanz cyberattack of summer 2020, widely blamed on Israel.
The AP presents some further details of the sensitive Iranian sites in Karaj as follows:
While it was not clear which Karaj facility had been targeted, the AP noted that the area is home to two known sites connected with Iran’s nuclear program, including the Karaj Agricultural and Medical Research Center.
According to the IAEA, the center uses nuclear technology to improve the "quality of soil, water, agricultural and livestock production."
What makes this newest alleged sabotage attack interesting is that it comes just after Iran elected a new hardline president (who will be sworn in later this summer), and just after a new Israeli prime minister has been sworn in.
This past weekend, new Prime Minister Naftali Bennett picked up right where Netanyahu left off in warning the world against restoring the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Bennett in Sunday remarks for the first time commented on Iran's presidential election. In particular he seized on the Islamic hardliner credentials of the winner of Friday's election, Ebrahim Raisi, saying that world powers negotiating in Vienna must "wake up".
"Raisi's election is, I would say, the last chance for world powers to wake up before returning to the nuclear agreement, and understand who they are doing business with," Bennett said.
Report: Sabotage attempt at Atomic Energy Organization of Iran building thwarted https://t.co/XyDPkoEjuo— CloseDanger (@CloseDanger) June 23, 2021
An attempt to sabotage a facility belonging to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran was thwarted on Wednesday morning,
If a sabotage attack is confirmed Wednesday, it could suggest Bennett is continuing Netanyahu's covert "dirty tricks" campaign targeting military and nuclear sites inside the Islamic Republic.
With the uncertain status of negotiations among world powers in Vienna, it's very likely Tel Aviv is actually stepping up its efforts to ramp up the pressure via espionage against Iranian sites.