Michael Cardinal, FISM News
On Monday, Iran accused Israel of carrying out a plan to sabotage their nuclear facilities through an attack that left their nuclear facility without power.
Iranian officials called the Sunday attack on the Natanz nuclear site an act of “nuclear terrorism” and vowed to get revenge on their long-time foe. It was reported that there was an explosion that affected the power grid that the nuclear facility operated on, which in turn caused damage to centrifuges at the plant that are used to enrich uranium.
This came a day after Iran announced it had obtained more advanced centrifuges that would put them a step closer to being able to produce nuclear weapons, though they deny that this is their goal. Iran claims that the centrifuges that were damaged in the attack were the older models, however, not the new, more advanced models.
This incident also came on the heels of talks between America and Iran this past week regarding a return to the 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and global powers. President Biden has indicated that he wants to rejoin the agreement if Iran agrees to return to the restrictions placed on their nuclear program. Former president Donald Trump had abandoned the deal in 2018, when he reimposed harsh sanctions on the Islamic country, saying that the deal, which originated under Obama, was not in the best interest of the United States.
Iran Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif indicated they believed this was one of the motives behind the attack, saying, “The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions… We will not fall into their trap…We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks…but we will take our revenge against the Zionists.”
I wrote to UNSG:
Deliberate targeting of a safeguarded nuclear facility—w/ high risk of indiscriminate release of radioactive material—is nuclear terrorism & a war crime
Israel threatened and now boasts about action to prevent restoration of JCPOA after US election. pic.twitter.com/gMstxI4DfD
— Javad Zarif (@JZarif) April 12, 2021
While some Israeli media outlets have said that a Mossad covert operation was responsible for the operation, Israel has not made any direct comment in regard to the attack.
On Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did say, however, that they would do everything in their power to prevent Iran’s “genocidal goal of eliminating Israel.”
He reiterated Israel’s belief that Iran had never given up their goal of developing nuclear weapons, implying that an American return to the deal could have dire consequences for the consistently targeted nation. Netanyahu said “there is no threat that is more serious, more dangerous, more pressing, than that posed by the fanatical regime of Iran.” He continued to say that because of this, it is imperative that “Iran must never possess nuclear weapons.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met today with US @SecDef Lloyd Austin:
"Welcome to Jerusalem. Your visit here so soon after assuming office is a testament to the importance you attach to our friendship and to our alliance."
— PM of Israel (@IsraeliPM) April 12, 2021
Press Secretary Jen Psaki denied any US involvement in the attack and ensured that Biden plans to push forward toward an agreement with Iran, an agreement that very well could help put nuclear weapons in the hands of a terrorist regime.
Our focus of course is on the diplomatic path forward. We’ve not been given any indication that attendance at the discussions that will proceed on Wednesday has changed.”