Iran says it foiled Israel’s sabotage attack against civilian nuclear facility
Iran’s government says it prevented a sabotage attack by Israel that targeted a building belonging to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) last month.
Speaking at his weekly press briefing on Tuesday, Ali Rabiei, the administration’s spokesman, said the attack was carried out by the Israeli regime with the aim of bringing to a halt the ongoing talks in Vienna on a possible revival of the 2015 nuclear deal.
He rejected as “inaccurate” the media portrayals of the sabotage operation, which he blamed on the Israeli regime, saying the incident caused only minor material damage and no fatalities.
He was reacting to the aerial images recently released by Israeli media of what they claimed was damage from the act of sabotage on June 23 against an AEOI building near the city of Karaj, the provincial capital of Iran’s Alborz Province.
Rabiei did not provide any details of how the sabotage operation happened, but said the incident slightly damaged the roof of a shed at the site.
Such attempts at disrupting Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities have failed thanks to the vigilance of Iran’s security and defense organizations.
Back in April, Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was hit by an act of sabotage, which Iran called “nuclear terrorism” and a “war crime.” The attack, blamed on Israel, targeted the electricity distribution network of the enrichment facility and caused a blackout.
The Natanz attack was the latest in a series of incidents targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities in 2020 and 2021. It coincided with the beginning of high-profile talks in the Austrian capital, Vienna, aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), a deal that Israel has great antipathy toward and lobbied the US intensely to abandon in 2018.
The Natanz facility, a uranium enrichment center located in the city of the same name in Iran’s central Isfahan Province, was also targeted in July 2020, in an incident that caused material damage to one of its inactive sheds in an open area.
While Israel has a policy of neither claiming nor denying responsibility for such attacks, Iran says Israeli footprints are all over the Natanz incidents and the Fakhrizadeh assassination.
Iran has also vowed to respond to the attacks at an appropriate time.