Fire at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility caused extensive damage: official


View of a damaged building after a fire broke out at the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility in Isfahan, Iran.


A fire at the Natanz underground nuclear facility in Iran has caused significant damage which could slow the development of advanced centrifuges used to enrich uranium, an Iranian nuclear official said on Sunday.

Iran’s top security official said on Friday that the cause of the fire that started on Thursday had been determined but would be announced later. Some Iranian officials have said it may be a cyber sabotage and one warned that Tehran will respond to any country carrying out such attacks.

An Iranian news agency IRNA article on Thursday spoke of what he called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States, although he did not directly accuse any either.

The Israeli Defense Minister said on Sunday that he was not “necessarily” behind every mysterious incident in Iran.

On Friday, three Iranian officials, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said the fire was the result of a cyber attack, but cited no evidence.

“The incident could slow the development and production of advanced centrifuges in the medium term … Iran will replace the damaged building with a larger one, fitted with more advanced equipment,” IRNA news agency quoted as saying. the spokesman for the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization, Behrouz Kamalvandi, as said.

“The incident caused significant damage, but there were no casualties.”

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards’ mighty navy chief said on Sunday that Tehran had built underground “missile cities” along the Gulf Coast and warned of a “nightmare for the enemies of Iran” .

Iranian authorities have said that such sites exist in all provinces of Iran, but have revealed only three bases to date and have not revealed that they were built along its coast.


Natanz is the centerpiece of Iran’s enrichment program, which Tehran says is for peaceful purposes. Western intelligence agencies and the United Nations nuclear monitoring agency (IAEA) believe he had a coordinated and covert nuclear weapons program which he interrupted in 2003. Tehran denies having ever searched for nuclear weapons.

Iran has agreed to limit its nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of most international sanctions in an agreement reached between Tehran and six world powers in 2015.

But Iran has gradually reduced its commitments to the deal since the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew from the deal in 2018 and reimposed and intensified sanctions that have hurt the Iranian economy.

The deal only allows Iran to enrich uranium at its Natanz plant with just over 5,000 first-generation IR-1 centrifuges, but Iran has installed new cascades of advanced centrifuges.

Iran, which says it will not negotiate while sanctions remain in place, has repeatedly vowed to continue building what it calls a defensive missile capability led by Revolutionary Guards, in defiance of critics western.

Israel supported Trump’s “maximum pressure” policy on Tehran to force him to accept a new agreement that imposes stricter limits on its nuclear work, curbs its ballistic missile program and ends its regional wars by proxy.

In 2010, the Stuxnet computer virus, widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, was discovered after being used to attack Natanz.

The Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant (FEP), Iran’s main uranium enrichment site which is mainly underground, is one of many Iranian facilities monitored by inspectors from the International Agency for Atomic Energy (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog.

The IAEA said on Friday that the fire site did not contain nuclear material and that none of its inspectors were present at the time.

(With the exception of the title, this story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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