'Natanz incident bold act of nuclear terrorism on Iranian soil'
Iran Press TV
Monday, 12 April 2021 9:16 AM
Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh says the Sunday incident in Natanz which saw a nuclear facility lose electricity was "a bold act of nuclear terrorism on the Iranian soil".
"The appalling incident that took place in Natanz was the work of the Zionist regime, given what it was repeatedly saying before and what is still being heard from various sources these days," he told a virtual weekly news conference on Monday.
Power at Natanz was cut across the facility Sunday, but officials said there was no casualty or damage, nor was any particular contamination or problem.
"Gladly there was no human or environmental damage, but it could have certainly led to a catastrophe that is a crime against humanity, which is not uncommon in the thuggish nature of the Zionist regime," Khatibzadeh said.
The act of sabotage came a day after Iran began feeding gas to cascades of new, advanced centrifuges and unveiled 133 achievements to mark its national nuclear technology day and show the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.
Khatibzadeh said, "If the aim was to limit Iran's nuclear capability, I have to say that on the contrary, all the centrifuges that went out of order due to the incident were of the IR1 type, and they are being replaced with more advanced ones."
In Natanz, the order was given Saturday to feed gas to 164 all-Iranian IR6 centrifuges, with 10 SWU â€“ separative work units that indicate the amount of separation done by an enrichment process.
The IR6 is the most sustainably efficient centrifuge Iran currently deploys, which will be mass-produced on an industrial level. The machine is able to produce 10 times more uranium hexafluoride (UF6) than IR1, Iran's first-generation centrifuges.
Presiden Hassan Rouhani also gave the order to begin feeding gas to test a number of 30 IR5 centrifuges and 30 IR6s centrifuges, numbers that could grow if they are successful.
Moreover, mechanical tests began on the top-of-the-line IR9 centrifuge that has a separative capacity of 50 SWU.
Also in Natanz, a unit to assemble and evaluate advanced centrifuges was launched, where Iranian experts said more than half of all operations are currently industrialized.
The "terrorist move" to blow up parts of the nuclear facilities in Natanz last year in an attack Israel has been suspected of orchestrating did not stop the progress, an engineer at the site said in answer to President Rouhani's questions.
Main element behind Natanz incident identified: Source
A security source said on Monday that the key individual responsible for the Natanz incident has been identified.
"Necessary measures are being taken to arrest the main element behind the disruption in the power system of Natanz complex," Nour News quoted the source as saying.
The new act of sabotage came after representatives from Iran, China, Russia and the European Union gathered in Vienna last week to discuss the US removal of sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Khatibazadeh said, "If the goal was to disrupt the removal of oppressive sanctions against the Iranian nation, they would certainly not achieve this goal, and no one would fall into the cunning trap they designed."
"However with this action, the occupying regime of al-Quds [Israel] tried to avenge the patience and wise behavior of the Iranian people in the course of removing the sanctions," he said.
Israel "should know that Iran will exact revenage on this regime at the right time and place", Khatibzadeh added.
Zarif: Natanz attack to strengthen Iran's position in talks
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif advised Iranians not to fall into the Israeli regime's deceptive trap, saying the Zionists want to take revenge on the Iranian people after their recent achievements in the bid to remove the cruel sanctions.
"But we will not let that happen, and we will take revenge for these acts on the Zionists themselves," Zarif said during a session of the Iranian parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Monday.
During the meeting, Zarif underlined the need to tighten security measures for Iran's nuclear sites and scientists.
He said Israel's political and military figures have explicitly stated that they would hamper the progress of sanctions removal, adding they wrongly assume they can achieve that goal.
"But the Zionists will get their answer in further nuclear progress," he stated.
Zarif stressed that Natanz will be stronger than before after it is reconstructed using advanced machines, and that the perpetrators are wrong to think the act of sabotage will undermine Iran's position in the negotiations.
"Incidentally, this cowardly act will strengthen our position in the negotiations," the chief Iranian diplomat said.
"The negotiating parties should know that so far they have seen [Iran's] first-generation machines, but now Natanz can be equipped with advanced centrifuges that have a multiplied enrichment capacity," he said.
|Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list|