An explosive device was smuggled into the Natanz uranium enrichment plant in Iran and was remotely activated, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.
Sunday’s explosion caused damage to the main electricity system at the facility, on top of the system granting backup, the report added, citing an unnamed intelligence source.
Channel 13 on Monday, reported the explosive device was placed near the main electricity line and went off on Sunday in the early morning hours causing the entire facility to stop functioning. No source was named in the report.
While the Iranians did not acknowledge the details of the reports, remarks by Iran’s head of the Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) hinted at their authenticity.
“The scheme of the enemy was very nice. I look at it from a scientific viewpoint. They thought about it, used their experts and planned the explosion in a way that both the main power and the power cord will get damaged,” Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani told Iran’s state-TV.
According to Hebrew-language outlet Maariv, intelligence sources estimated it would take “many months” before Iran would repair the damage.
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri had said that people should be held responsible for Natanz’s protection, as the attacks against it could lead to “catastrophic consequences” for Iran’s reputation, economy and security.
Meanwhile, Biden administration officials expressed Monday their concern that Sunday’s explosion could cause Tehran to move its nuclear project to a location deeper underground.
First published: 09:03 , 04.13.21