Iran holds arch-rival Israel responsible for the sabotage of the Natanz nuclear facility. Iranian authorities have vowed revenge, state television reports.
The country also has a suspect in mind. According to local media, the person who caused the power outage has been identified, but who that might be and where it is located has not been disclosed.
Iran had previously described the incident in Natanz as nuclear terrorism. Uranium is enriched in the installation. There is still uncertainty about what exactly happened, but according to sources from the American newspaper The New York Times, an explosion caused significant damage. According to those insiders, it could take nine months before production can resume.
Israeli media have reported based on anonymous sources that intelligence agency Mossad has sabotaged the installation in Natanz. Israeli authorities have not confirmed this, but Iran does not doubt that Jerusalem is behind the incident.
Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif pointed an accusing finger at the “Zionists” on Monday, referring to the Israelis. According to the minister, they wanted to “take revenge” because his country has made progress trying to get international sanctions off the table.
Iran was conducting top talks with significant countries on the reinstatement of the 2015 nuclear accord when it was agreed that the Iranians would curtail their nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions. US President Donald Trump later withdrew his country from that deal and imposed punitive measures again. Iran subsequently also began to violate the agreements in the nuclear deal.
The new US president Joe Biden wants to break from the course of his predecessor and revive the nuclear deal. It is unclear whether the Americans were informed of the alleged sabotage action in Natanz.