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Iran: Blackout at Natanz nuke facility after explosion, officials confirm Israel’s involvement

According to American and Israeli intelligence officials, Israel was involved in an explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility that knocked out power in Iran. The power outage destroyed the functioning of the centrifuges used to enrich uranium at Natanz, which is known as Iran’s flagship nuclear plant.

It isn’t the first time that Israel was involved in a strike against the Natanz facility. In July last year, Iran said it suffered serious damage to the same site following a bomb attack; two intelligence officials stated that Israel had a role.

Strangely enough, despite the persistent naive belief that Iran is enriching uranium for peaceful domestic purposes, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, tacitly admitted to Iran’s ambitions:

The action this morning against the Natanz enrichment site shows the defeat of those who oppose our country’s nuclear and political development and the significant gains of our nuclear industry.

Less than two days earlier, Iran’s president Hassan Rouhani “unveiled new ‘third-generation’ centrifuges that its nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi boasted could enrich uranium ‘much faster than current technology,’ which would ‘shorten the time it takes to build a nuclear bomb.’”

Iran has been boasting about its military might ever since Joe Biden took over the White House. The regime has also demanded that Biden immediately lift sanctions, while Biden has called for a return to the negotiating table to hammer out a renewed nuke deal, despite Iran’s dishonesty regarding the Obama nuke deal. Iran openly admitted to breaching the deal, while Netanyahu provided extensive evidence that the entire deal was based on lies.

Israel also, only days ago, expressed concern about Biden’s position on Iran, referencing it as “troubling.”

It should be clear to any observer that Israel needs to take measures to protect itself from attack by Iran, which aims to obliterate it. It can no longer count on America, as it could under Trump.

“Blackout Hits Iran Nuclear Site in What Appears to Be Israeli Sabotage,” by Ronen Bergman, Rick Gladstone and Farnaz Fassihi, New York Times, April 11, 2021:

A power failure that appeared to have been caused by a deliberately planned explosion struck Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment site on Sunday, in what Iranian officials called an act of sabotage that they suggested had been carried out by Israel.

The blackout injected new uncertainty into diplomatic efforts that began last week to salvage the 2015 nuclear deal repudiated by the Trump administration.

Iran did not say precisely what had caused the blackout at the heavily fortified site, which has been a target of previous sabotage, and Israel publicly declined to confirm or deny any responsibility. But American and Israeli intelligence officials said there had been an Israeli role.

Two intelligence officials briefed on the damage said it had been caused by a large explosion that completely destroyed the independent — and heavily protected — internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges that enrich uranium.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe a classified Israeli operation, said that the explosion had dealt a severe blow to Iran’s ability to enrich uranium and that it could take at least nine months to restore Natanz’s production.

If so, Iran’s leverage in new talks sought by the Biden administration to restore the nuclear agreement could be significantly compromised. Iran has said it will take increasingly strong actions prohibited under the agreement until the sanctions imposed by President Donald J. Trump have been rescinded.

It was not immediately clear how much advance word — if any — the Biden administration received about the Natanz operation, which happened on the same morning that the American defense secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, was visiting Israel. But Israeli officials have made no secret of their unhappiness over Mr. Biden’s desire to revive the nuclear agreement that his predecessor renounced in 2018.

Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, described the blackout as an act of “nuclear terrorism” and said the international community must confront the threat.

“The action this morning against the Natanz enrichment site shows the defeat of those who oppose our country’s nuclear and political development and the significant gains of our nuclear industry,” Mr. Salehi said, according to the Iranian news media. “The incident shows the failure of those who oppose Iran negotiating for sanctions relief.”….

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