Business & Economy

Iran: “Nuclear terrorism” targeted uranium enrichment plant

Tehran, Apr 11 (EFE).- Iran on Sunday said that the power blackout at its Natanz uranium enrichment plant was an “act of terror” aimed at undermining the ongoing negotiations to save the 2015 nuclear deal.

The head of Iran’s nuclear agency, Ali Akbar Salehi, urged the International Atomic Energy Agency to act “against this nuclear terrorism,” warning that his country “reserves its right to take action against perpetrators and agents” responsible for it.

“To defeat the goals of the terrorist attempts, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to develop nuclear technology on the one hand and try to lift oppressive sanctions on the other hand,” he said, according to the state-run IRNA news agency.

The incident occurred in the power distribution network of Natanz, a 100,000-square-meter underground facility located in central Iran.

The incident, however, “has led to no pollution or human damage,” Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said, adding that the causes are “under investigation.”

He did not reveal whether the power cut affected the entire facility or just a part of it.

The power outage brought to mind a fire that broke out in a centrifuge assembly area at the Natanz facility on 2 July 2020, a blaze that caused major equipment destruction.

The IAEA has access to Natanz – and other Iranian nuclear plants – to inspect Iran’s nuclear program as part of the 2015 nuclear deal Tehran signed with the United Nations Security Council’s five permanent members plus Germany in exchange for lifting sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

Former President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from the pact in 2018 and re-imposed sanctions on Iran.

Salehi did not blame any specific party for the incident, but the power outage reportedly has been linked to Israel. A virus believed to have been developed by the US and Israel was used to attack the facility in 2010.

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