Sabotage at Iranian Nuclear Site Dominates the News
A flurry of leaks, threats and counterthreats have engulfed the Middle East following Sunday morning’s mysterious electric failure at the Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran. Israeli outlets late Sunday night all released identical remarks attributed to “intelligence sources,” claiming the incident was carried out by the country’s intelligence agency Mossad, and that the attack was likely to set Tehran’s nuclear program back by about nine months. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Monday also officially acknowledged Israel’s involvement in the sabotage effort, warning that “the Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress on the way to lift sanctions … But we will take our revenge from the Zionists.” Other officials in Tehran accused Jerusalem of conducting “nuclear terrorism” and claimed an individual involved in the strike had been apprehended, but insisted the damage done to the uranium enrichment facility was minor. The sudden crash of the Natanz power grid came less than 24 hours after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani launched the site’s new advanced centrifuges on Saturday night, while also coinciding with US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s visit to Israel.