Tel Aviv seems to have confirmed reports that it perpetrated a cyber-attack on Iran’s uranium enrichment facility on Sunday. Tehran’s nuclear energy chief characterized the move as a terrorist act and promised retaliation.
The alleged assault occurred hours after Natanz officials restarted reactor for advanced centrifuges. The act is expected to speed up the development of enriched uranium by Tehran. A watershed moment in the country’s nuclear programme, the move violated the terms of 2015 deal, but Iran says the deal has been of order ever since a party, i.e. the United States, acts in violation.
While Iranian officials struggled to put the large-scale electricity outage at Natanz under control, Israel’s defense minister, in weird and unexpected remarks, declared that the country’s “operations in the Middle East are not shielded from the enemy’s eyes.”
Zionist Regime imposed no censoring limits on media coverage, like it would do in attacks of similar form and essence, and the latest assault was widely reported in local outlets. More surprisingly, the public radio put the blame on the Mossad intelligence service for the sabotage and said it has played a key role.
Prime minister Netanyahu’s response to the incident was also exclusive. Making no reference to the potential involvement in the attack, Netanyahu’s remarks connoted Tel Aviv’s role.
“The struggle against Iran and its proxies and the Iranian armament efforts is a huge mission. The situation that exists today will not necessarily be the situation that will exist tomorrow.”
The incident is believed to be the latest in a string of attacks by Israel on Iranian targets in Iran, Syria, and Iraq. Deepening the shadow of war on the region in the past couple of years, Israel claims its move is centered on Iran’s nuclear advancements.
Open clashes in recent months in the form of strikes against shipping, the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear physicist, targeting Iranian forces in Syria, and even a suspicious oil leak in Israeli waters have all lend to more challenges and crises in the region. Iran says response is necessary as Israel’s offensive conduct will only be silenced by proportional revenge.
This is not the first time Natanz tops to headlines with an incident instigated by foreign perpetrators. An explosion destroying a centrifuge assembly plant last July besides a joint CIA and Mossad cyber-attack in 2010 using Stuxnet, a computer virus that caused massive damage to the plant were among the former attacks leaked to media.
Iran’s nuclear chief demanded action by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). He reported that the Natanz site’s power grid had been disrupted by a “terrorist threat.” The IAEA acknowledged the allegations but made no further comments.
Salehi, Iranian nuclear chief, says the attack was an obvious and offensive opposition to the country’s “industrial and political progress” by foreign powers.
The fresh incident occurs while the US and Iran started indirect negotiating process to end the diplomatic hostilities over the 2015 nuclear agreement. Biden administration has agreed on relieving sanctions imposed on Iran by his predecessor in return for Iran’s retrieval to the terms of JCPOA.
The US defense secretary has seemingly been in Tel Aviv when the attack took place. Austin’s visit to his Israeli counterparts seems to be partially to persuade Israeli officials over the promising results of the new agreement with Iran. Tel Aviv condemned the fresh developments claiming it gives Tehran another chance to get closer to nuclear weapon. The new offensive has been analyzed in light of Israel’s attitude towards Biden’s policy on Iran.
The Israeli defense minister, following the meeting, said “We will work closely with our American allies to ensure that any new agreement with Iran will secure the vital interests of the world, of the United States, prevent a dangerous arms race in our region, and protect the state of Israel.”
Five days before Natanz attack, an alleged Israeli mine attack on an Iranian freighter also escalated tension in the region. Located in the Red Sea, the vessel has been alleged with supporting Houthi militia in Yemen, while no evidence has been provided.
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