Israel purposefully cripples another nuclear facility belonging to Iran right on the day a newly repaired facility was to be unveiled. What purpose is hidden behind the recent attacks against Iran?
Iranian nuclear facility in Natanz, Isfahan came under attack yesterday right on the day another facility which was disabled because of an Israeli attack years before was to be unveiled. Though there is no way to identify the attackers, it is widely believed that Mossad or IDF is responsible for the incident. The Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif quickly responded, announcing that his country would seek revenge against perpetrators of the attack on the nuclear facility. In a statement released by Zarif, the foreign minister condemned the attack as yet another attempt to sabotage the efforts in Vienna aimed at reviving the Iranian nuclear deal otherwise known as JCPOA. Ever since the signing of the deal back in Obama’s era, there have been players that didn’t shy away from voicing their displeasure with how the things turned out. Trump’s withdrawal sated their thirst for a while but since 2020 things have gone a different way.
Iran’s main nuclear facility in Natanz, Isfahan was by no means an ordinary facility of no importance but so neither were the attacks. The attacks were carried out in a highly coordinated manner just hours after the Iranian officials restarted advanced centrifuges to ramp up the enrichment after an attack knocked out one of their facilities years before. Though the majority of details about the attack are still kept under the wraps, we do know that it caused a large-scale blackout in the facilities, possibly sabotaging the heating system connected to the grid. That of course in turn led to an explosion which supposedly injured a few individuals including the Iranian nuclear spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi.
The recent attack was a significant move in a sense that it even drew the ire of Ali Akbar Salehi, the Head of Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, who usually sits out of the political aspects of Iranian Nuclear Program. Salehi too denounced the cyberattack as an act of blatant terrorism, warning that attacks as such could often lead to dangerous outcomes with unfathomable consequences such as the one that happened in Chernobyl which would not only endanger the lives of operators but also civilians that might be exposed to radiation unwittingly. Salehi asserted that such audacious moves proves that Israeli government, unlike their boastful claims, do actually hold human lives in lowest regard.
Aside from that, this is perhaps the first time since the release of the Stuxnet virus back in 2010 that the State of Israel semi-officially confessed to its role in the recent cyberattack against Iran’s nuclear facilities. Previously, during Trump’s era specifically, Israel often referred to its operations against Iran under a veiled cloak of threat and ignorance, letting people like Pompeo and Trump do the heavy lifting for them. Since the coming of Biden however there has been a change of tactics with regards to how the public relations office handles that kind of controversy, with Mossad and IDF openly authorizing and enforcing operations against their enemy Iran. That is of course not only limited to Iran’s nuclear facilities, considering the way their hostilities have also spilled into the Persian Gulf recently.
It appears at the moment that actions as such serve the both purpose of goading their adversary into producing a response whilst sending a warning to Biden, though that is somewhat up for debate. The reason we believe that of course lies in the fact that the US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin arrived in Israel just right hours before the attack. Whether or not this “coincidence” has been one of luck or machination is up in their air but there is no denying that when a U.S. high-ranking official is meeting with his Israeli counterpart in a news conference making only veiled threats and refusing to answer any questions, that does in fact sends a mixed message to the other party who has extended a hand for peace. These mixed messages ultimately could worsen the situation beyond control, so if it is stability which Biden seeks, he should be more forthcoming in upcoming months.