Iran Calls Blackout at Underground Natanz Atomic Site ‘Nuclear Terrorism’

Iran called a blackout at its underground Natanz atomic facility an act of “nuclear terrorism” on April 11, but did not say who was responsible.

“The act against the Natanz nuclear enrichment center shows the defeat of the opponents of the country’s industrial and political advancements in preventing the nuclear industry’s significant development,” Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Head Ali Akbar Salehi said in a statement read out in state TV on April 11.

“Condemning this despicable move, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the need for the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to deal with this nuclear terrorism,” the statement also said.

Salehi directly connected the incident with the 2015 nuclear deal, which the former United States President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018.

Diplomatic efforts to revive the nuclear deal have resumed and Salehi claimed that those who opposed the negotiations to lift the U.S. sanctions carried out the incident.

“Iran reserves the right to take action against the perpetrators,” the statement further said, without naming who was to blame.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility, but Israeli media suggested that the incident was an Israeli cyber attack, citing a previous sabotage on Natanz by a Stuxnet computer virus, which is widely believed to have been developed by the U.S. and Israel and had destroyed centrifuges at the facility.

The IAEA, an organization within the United Nations, said that it was aware of the reports about incident and had contacted Iranian officials. It did not elaborate further.

AEOI Spokesperson Behrouz Kamalvandi earlier told local Fars News Agency that there had been “no casualties and leaks.”

The incident came a day after President Hassan Rouhani revealed new advanced uranium centrifuges at the facility during a ceremony broadcasted live on television.

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