It was initially an incident presented as a miner. Iran had announced on Thursday morning that a "warehouse without nuclear material" of its power plant of Natanz, its main site for uranium enrichment in the country (kept secret until 2002, editor's NOTE), had been the victim of an "accident" without gravity. He, who had caused the damage (financial and material), but no pollution, and had not made a victim, had not disrupted the activities of the factory, had stressed Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman of the Organization of iran atomic energy commission (IAEC).
Our friends at @planetlabs got a nice shot showing the damage at the centrifugal assembly workshop at Natanz in Iran. As I like to say: "Yeah, that's gonna leave a mark." pic.twitter.com/4BwMY37bxS— Jeffrey Lewis (@ArmsControlWonk) July 3, 2020
However, the images of the iranian television, showing only light damage in front of a brick building damaged, were quickly contradicted by shots of a satellite broadcast by the channels of the opposition abroad. You'll find a shed completely gutted by the flames. "It appears that this is a massive explosion, not a fire that gutted the new building for the assembly and testing of centrifuges of the new generation ", explains Point-Fabian Hinz, a senior research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, based in Monterey, United States.
These photos have fueled the suspicions of the iranian population, while an unprecedented wave of explosions struck the four corners of the country for ten days (for a tank of gas industrial north of Tehran on 25 June, a power station in Shiraz, the 26, a clinic of the capital on the 30th of June, and another power plant in Ahvaz on 4 July, ED.) And seventy-two hours after the accident, the magnitude of the disaster has finally been accepted by the authorities. Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the AEOI (the international agency of atomic energy), announced on Sunday that the incident at the nuclear power plant of Natanz had made "significant damage" and "could slow down" the production by Iran of centrifuges advanced. Under the agreement on the iranian nuclear (JCPOA) signed in 2015 between Iran and the major powers (U.s., China, Russia, France, the United Kingdom and Germany), the islamic Republic was committed to use only a limited number of centrifuges, the so-called " first generation ".
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But since the unilateral withdrawal of the United States of the text in may 2018 and the restoration of u.s. sanctions unprecedented against Tehran, while Iran was complying with its commitments according to the reports of the international Agency of atomic energy, ED), the islamic Republic emerged from a series of prohibited measures such as the production of enriched uranium and the activities of research and development, including the development of centrifuges modern. In its latest report published on 5 June, the gendarme of the international nuclear considers that the stock of iranian enriched uranium exceeds by almost eight times the limit permitted by the agreement. Iran assures that it does not want to acquire the atomic bomb, and pointed out that all of his recent decisions are reversible and are only intended to increase the pressure on other signatories to the JCPOA in order to reduce the weight of u.s. sanctions which suffocate its economy.
Track accidentally discarded
" All of Iran's actions are reversible except the acquired know-how in research and development, which is never lost, which worries the West ", says the researcher, Fabian Hinz. "Thus, the destruction of this building allows to prevent the assembly and testing of centrifuges modern, and thus slow down the program of research and development iranian without leading to a climbing significantly with Iran ".
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on Thursday, a few hours before the announcement by the iranian authorities of the incident, the BBC's Persian-language claims to have received a statement of claim from the " Cheetahs of the fatherland ", a group supposedly made up of " dissidents within the security apparatus in iran,". But, in Tehran, doubts have quickly focused on the "enemies" history of Iran : the United States and Israel. In an editorial in a tone unusual, published on the same day, the official news agency Irna reported that the "strategy" of the islamic Republic of "prevent escalation" would be "fundamentally reviewed" if " countries hostile to it, in particular the zionist regime and the United States [made] of the red lines set by Iran ". And the next day, the track of the accident appears to have been definitely ruled out, when the supreme Council of national security, the highest decision-making body of the country, has indicated that they have established with precision the causes of the incident without being able to disclose at the moment " for some security reasons ".
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The hypothesis of a sabotage of israeli origin is all the more plausible that Israel and Iran are engaged since several months, a true secret war. Chastened by the israeli strikes ongoing since 2013 against positions of iranian in Syria, which have killed dozens of people in its ranks, the islamic Republic would be behind the cyber attack that hit the network hydraulic israeli on April 24 and 25 last. In retaliation, the jewish State would be paralyzed on may 9, the terminal port of Shahid Rajaee in the south of Iran, using also a computer attack.
Asked this weekend about a possible israeli involvement, Benny Gantz, the new israeli minister of Defense, has provided a response to the less convoluted. "All incidents that happen in Iran, do not necessarily have anything to do with us," he said to the radio of the israeli army. "It is better not to mention our actions in Iran," she said Gabi Ashkenazi, the israeli minister of foreign Affairs, at a conference organised by the daily Maariv and the Jerusalem Post. "Officially, the strategy of ambiguity is de rigueur in Israel, with the goal of not incurring retaliation from the enemies or political pressure," explains the Point Ely Karmon, a researcher in gender policy and counter-terrorism at the interdisciplinary center in Herzliya.
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But why strike now ? "There is among Israelis a growing concern about the progress of iran's activities in uranium enrichment, as noted in the last report of the international Agency of atomic energy," adds the specialist. "If it is really Israel who is behind the attack, this could also be explained by the fact that Donald Trump lives may be his last months in the White House, and that the presence of an american president is very favourable to Israel is important in the event of retaliation by iran. "
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on Monday, the New York Times has lifted part of the veil surrounding the case by writing that Israel was indeed behind the explosion at Natanz. Citing a responsible middle-eastern intelligence, the us daily reported that a powerful bomb had been used, a detail confirmed to the newspaper by a guardian of the Revolution in iran, a member of the ideological army of the islamic Republic. "If Israel is really behind this explosion, then it is no longer a cold war, but a real declaration of war to Iran, in a context where he has already murdered iranian scientists in Tehran, fighters iranians in Syria and has conducted cyber attacks against the islamic Republic," said Hamzeh Safavi, a professor of political science and member of the scientific council of the university of Tehran. "If Israel is responsible, this attack is a strong response, proportionate and legitimate to Iran in the face of this violation of its national sovereignty, to dissuade him from taking further action in the future. "
In 2010, the damage inflicted by the Stuxnet virus in the central Natanz had been decided by the islamic Republic to invest heavily in the sector of cyber warfare. To aim to turn, a few years later, Israel and the United States.Updated Date: 06 July 2020, 14:34