Iran accused Israel of responsibility in an attack that hit Natanz’s uranium enrichment facility this Sunday, implying that damage to the centrifuges has occurred, and promising “revenge”.
“With this action, the Zionist regime took revenge on the Iranian people for the patience and wisdom it showed while waiting for the lifting of sanctions,” said Iranian Foreign Affairs spokesman Said Khatibzadeh at a press conference in Tehran.
This Sunday, Iranian state television, quoting a spokesman for Iran’s civilian nuclear program, reported that Natanz’s nuclear facilities had suffered an “incident” in the electrical distribution network.
The spokesman, Behrouz Kamalvandi, did not provide further details, adding that there were no injuries. “There was an accident in a part of the electricity grid at the enrichment facility,” he said.
The “accident” happened a day after the launch of new centrifuge cascades at the Shahid-Ahmadi-Rochan complex in Natanz, on the day that Iranian President Hassan Rohani remotely opened the new centrifuge assembly plant.
As new centrifuges they offer Iran the ability to enrich uranium more quickly and in larger quantities, in volumes and with a degree of refinement prohibited by the 2015 agreement reached in Vienna between the country and the international community.
The United States unilaterally terminated that agreement in 2018, during the Trump Administration, reinstating the sanctions that had been lifted under that pact. In retaliation, Iran has departed from most of the key commitments it has made in Vienna to curb its nuclear activities since 2019.
Talks are ongoing in Vienna between Iran and the other states parties to the 2015 agreement (China, France, Germany, Great Britain and Russia) on how to return the US to the pact and Iran to fully fulfill their commitments. Tehran has always denied wanting an atomic bomb and Rohani reiterated on Saturday that all nuclear activities in his country were purely “peaceful”.