Iran's Atomic Energy commission has announced an "incident" has disrupted the power grid of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility on Sunday, which suspiciously comes after the opening days of nuclear talks in Vienna involving the US "indirectly" negotiating with the Iranians in what have been reported as "positive" engagements.
In an exclusive report The Jerusalem Post has revealed that the mysterious incident appears a deliberate attack by an outside entity and that damage is far more extensive than what's currently being made official by the Islamic Republic. It's "not an accident" - the report emphasizes.
The Natanz facility, it must be remembered, was previously sabotaged in a June 2020 attack which resulted in a major fire - later widely pinned in Israeli intelligence. This latest major blackout at the facility is further already resulting in widespread suspicions that Israel launched another devastating cyberattack on the site.
According to The Jerusalem Post:
Based on reports, it seems that the so-called accident was caused by a cyber attack, possibly by Israel. Natanz has in the past been targeted by Israeli cyber operations, according to foreign reports. In 2010, the Stuxnet virus attacked the facility in a joint operation with the United States, destroying over 1,000 centrifuges. No injuries or pollution were caused by the incident, Kamalvandi said, adding that the cause of the incident is under investigation and further information will be announced later.
There’s been an “incident” disrupting the power grid of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, according to the #Iran Atomic Energy Commission.— Steve Herman (@W7VOA) April 11, 2021
Hardliners in Iranian parliament are also pointing the finger at Tel Aviv:
Malek Shariati Niasar, an Iranian MP and spokesman for a parliamentary energy commission, wrote that the incident is highly suspected as "sabotage," as it occurred on Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day and amid the renewal of talks between Iran and western nations on the JCPOA nuclear deal.
Further suggesting a covert act of sabotage by the Israelis, the Jewish state's leaders including PM Netanyahu have lately doubled down on threats to unilaterally "act" against Iran should the US rejoin the 2015 nuclear deal (JCPOA).
The Vienna talks no doubt make the Israelis highly nervous, and they've appeared quite open about willingness to derail the process by any means. Also important is that Natanz is a key site of restarted and ramped up enrichment activities designed to add pressure on Washington toward rejoining the nuclear deal.