April 12th – Iranian state television quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying that Israel was responsible for the damage to the Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday, and Iran would retaliate against it.
In a statement to the Iranian News Agency, Zarif reportedly said that the Natanz nuclear facility today is “stronger than before”, adding: “If the enemy wants to weaken our position in the nuclear negotiations, this timid behavior will only backfire and strengthen our attitude in the negotiations.”
Previously, Israel’s Kan radio and television company quoted “intelligence sources” as saying that Israel was suspected to be behind the Natanz incident. According to the news, Mossad, an Israeli intelligence agency, is suspected to have been involved in a cyber attack on nuclear facilities.
The New York Times said: “A U.S. official confirmed that Israel was involved in the Natanz power outage.” At the same time, however, the source pointed out that the information about the incident was not “complete”.
Israeli officials refused to reply to the news from the Wall Street Journal. The Information Office of the National Security Council, which belongs to the White House, declined to comment.
The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran announced on April 11 that an accident occurred in the distribution network of the Natanz Uran Enrichment Plant, 400 kilometers south of Tehran, without injury and no environmental pollution. The cause of the accident is being determined.
Later, Ali Akbar Salehi, Vice President of Iran and head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, said that the incident was an attack and a manifestation of “nuclear terrorism”.
Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it reserves the right to respond within the framework of international law.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry added that Iran would “respond to Israel at the right time and place” considering that the Natanz incident “is aimed at undermining the process of negotiations in Vienna”.
At present, Vienna is holding talks aimed at resuming the Iran nuclear agreement concluded in 2015. The United States and Iran have differences on how to lift U.S. sanctions against Iran and how to return to the nuclear agreement, and further talks are under way. Earlier, the talks sent a “constructive” good signal.