Iranian leaders have hit out at Israel after a major incident at the Natanz nuclear plant crippled the site’s electric grid. Tehran has insisted the shutdown was more than an “accident” and accuses saboteurs of mounting an “attack” on the facility. A spokesman for Iran’s nuclear program initially referred to an “accident” at the facility, however, Israeli defense chief Aviv Kochavi later appeared pointed to a cyber-attack.
Al Jeezera Middle East correspondent Assed Baig said: “The original statement has been given by the head of Iran’s atomic agency to the Iranian media here, Ali Akbar Salehi.
“Now what he said is an admission that this is not an accident, this is an attack.
“Now he didn’t use those words but was he said is today’s act against an enrichment facility shows the failure of those who oppose Iran’s nuclear progress.
“It also shows the failure of those who oppose Iran’s negotiations to have those sanctions lifted.
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“He went on to say that the international community the IAEA must confront this nuclear terrorism and that Iran has the right to respond to those behind the attack and those that ordered it.
“Now this has come after we first initially had that this was an incident that it was being investigated. We thought it was an accident but suspicious nevertheless.
“Some lawmakers here said that there was a possibility that it could have been sabotage or infiltration.
“Now this is the head of Iran’s atomic organization clearly now saying that this is more than just an accident this is an attack, it comes just a day after Iran gave the news it had begun using advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium.”
While the country has openly taken credit for a cyber-attack against Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant.
Israeli media outlets have openly suggested their country was behind the hack.
Mr Kochavi said: “The IDF’s operations in the Middle East are not hidden from the eyes of the enemy.
“They are watching us, seeing (our) abilities and weighing their steps with caution.”
He added, while paying tribute to Israel’s fallen soldiers, the country “will continue to act, combining power and discretion, determination and responsibility – all of this to guarantee the security of the State of Israel”.
Following the alleged cyber-attack, Iran’s nuclear chief, Ali Akbar Salehi insisted the damage was “nuclear terrorism”.
He said: “The action this morning against Natanz enrichment site shows the defeat of those who oppose our country’s nuclear and political development and the significant gains of our nuclear industry.”
Mr Salehi then pledged to “seriously improve” his nation’s nuclear technology while working to lift international sanctions and urged the international community and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to take action against the perpetrators of the attack.”