Tehran: Suspicious fire at the Natanz nuclear facility last week has caused severe damage to the Iranian plant. The fire has slowed the production of the advanced centrifuges, admitted Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (IAEO) spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi. A series of mysterious explosions have occurred in Iran for the last few days, and a Kuwaiti newspaper has blamed Israel for them. On the other hand, Iran has threatened Israel of grave consequences. However, beyond that, no one is willing to provide information on the explosions.
Last Thursday, a massive fire had broken out at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. Iran informed that the fire had started in the nuclear facility compound. But after western media released satellite images of the destruction caused at the nuclear facility, Iran is now forced to disclose the exact details of the events. In a press conference on Sunday, IAEO Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi stated that the fire had started at a critical lab at the facility. Thankfully there were no casualties although the plant suffered a significant financial damage due to the incident, Kamalvandi said.
The laboratory building housed the assembly centre for the centrifuges. A new system was to be placed in the building for the production of the advanced centrifuges. Nevertheless, due to incidents that preceded this process, the production of the advanced centrifuges has been slowed, Kamalvandi explained. Simultaneously, he also said that the primary cause for the Natanz fire was determined, but the information would not be revealed for national security reasons. The Natanz nuclear facility is believed the most important for Iran’s nuclear program. Furthermore, the US and Israel have alleged that advanced centrifuges at this facility were being used for the nuclear arsenal.
In 2018, after the US announced withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, Tehran had declared it would increase the number of centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear facility. At the same time, Iran had released photographs of the nuclear facility and threatened the European nations. The photographs included the advanced centrifuge of IR-8. Israel had referred to the advanced centrifuge and cautioned the western nations. The country made them aware that the events transpiring at the nuclear facility were taking Iran closer to the development of nuclear weapons. Also, since it has repeatedly threatened of wiping Israel off the world’s map, if Iran caught hold of nukes, it would prove an existential threat for Jerusalem. Therefore, the Israeli leadership has from time to time warned that it would not allow Iran to become nuclear at any cost. Israeli politicians have explicitly said that they were willing to pay any price for it. Based on past events, Israel is suspected of being behind the incident at Iran’s nuclear facility.
In the 80s, the then Iranian dictator, Saddam Hussain, had initiated efforts for the development of a nuclear weapon. But in 1981, Israeli fighter jets launched forceful attacks on the Osirak reactor, which was under construction. The Israeli attacks thus destroyed the facility. In 2007, Israel had carried out air raids and destroyed a Syrian nuclear plant in its preliminary stages. Analysts the world over thereby asserted that Israel was capable of similar action on the Iranian nuclear facility. Whereas, another claim states Saudi Arabia and other Middle Eastern nations, which are opposed to a nuclear Iran, would open up their airspace to Israel. In addition to that, the Stuxnet cyber-attack had struck the Natanz and Bushehr nuclear plants in 2010. The cyber-attack had caused rendered thousands of centrifuges useless setting back the Iranian nuclear program by a few years. Moreover, Iran had held Israeli intelligence agency Mossad and the US accountable for it.