Tehran: Israel is being accused of the suspicious fire on the Natanz nuclear facility. The fire has caused Iran’s nuclear program to fall back by at least two months. Also, a Middle Eastern daily reported Israel of being behind another dangerous explosion that took place last week on Iran’s nuclear plant. Iran is enraged with the two incidents that occurred within a week and has threatened Israel of severe consequences if it were found responsible for them. Meanwhile, Israel has as always not commented on any of the allegations made by the media.
Early morning on Thursday, a suspicious explosion occurred at the Natanz underground nuclear plant in Iran and sparked a fire. The roof of the nuclear facility complex was found damaged as per Iranian officials. However, the photographs and videos released by the Iranian news channels show extreme damage to the nuclear facility. A Middle Eastern news agency has alleged that the incident was an attack and not an accident after the main door of the facility was revealed of being destroyed. Based on sources, the daily claimed that Israel had targeted the facility with cyber-attacks. Furthermore, the daily made references to the Stuxnet cyber-attacks that had occurred ten years ago, to back its claims.
In 2010, Iran’s Natanz and Bushehr nuclear facilities were targeted with the Stuxnet cyber-attack. The attack had wholly disabled 60% of the computer systems and its connected systems. The attack had even rendered some 6000 odd centrifuges useless, putting the nuclear program ten years behind. Iran had blamed Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and the US for the attack. The daily has asserted the latest incident was a cyber-attack just like Stuxnet. Although Iran did not state the attack’s extent, the program has suffered a lag of two months according to the daily.
For the last few months, Iran had begun processing on the advanced centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility. After the US walked out from the Iran Nuclear Deal and imposed sanctions on the country, Iran began to focus on increasing the number of centrifuges at its nuclear facilities. As centrifuges were produced at the Natanz nuclear facility on a large scale, the cyber-attack on the site is considered a significant blow to Iran’s nuclear program. The cyber-attack may have regressed the Iran’s nuclear program by a few more years. Apart from the Natanz cyber-attack, the daily holds Israel accountable for another explosion that occurred last week at the Parchin nuclear base.
Iran’s most extensive nuclear base at Parchin, which is not far from capital Tehran, experienced a dangerous explosion. Initially, the Iranian military had announced the blast occurred at a gas tank. Nevertheless, after photographs of the accident site went viral on social media, claims had surfaced stating Iran was hiding crucial information. To add to it, as per data from sources of the Gulf media, Israel F-35s attacked the nuclear stockpile at the Parchin base. The attack is said to have destroyed a large stock of Iran’s ballistic missiles. The Gulf daily has called the strike the most significant one for the Iranian military.
Iran asserted that the objective behind last week’s attacks would soon be revealed. If Israel were found responsible for the attacks on the nuclear facilities, the country would have to bear severe consequences, a senior Iranian military official warned. Be that as it may, Israel has avoided comment on the incident.