Iran Blames Israel for Attack on Nuclear Site and Vows Revenge

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  • Bloomberg Quicktake: Now published this video item, entitled “Iran Blames Israel for Attack on Nuclear Site and Vows Revenge” – below is their description.

    Iran blamed Israel for an attack at its largest uranium enrichment plant, raising geopolitical tensions around Iran’s nuclear program even as diplomats try to revive the international accord that contained it.

    “Various sources have confirmed Israel was behind the attack” on the power network at the Natanz facility in central Iran, Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said at a news conference on Monday. Some of Iran’s standard IR-1 centrifuges were damaged, but it is too soon to assess how badly, he said, without giving further details of the assault.

    “Iran will take revenge upon Israel for the Natanz incident,” Khatibzadeh said. In a letter to the United Nations, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called for international condemnation of the attack and for culprits to be held to account, adding that Iran would respond by increasing developments in its nuclear activity.

    Power was cut off to the site, but that didn’t disrupt enrichment operations and the plant is still running on emergency electricity backup, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency, said, according to state-run IRIB news. The main power supply will be restored in coming days, he said.

    A senior Iranian lawmaker and prominent nuclear scientist said he had been briefed on the incident and it entailed an explosion at an electricity station at Natanz, about 40 to 50 meters (131 to 164 feet) underground.

    “From a technical standpoint, the enemy’s plan was rather beautiful,” Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, a former head of Iran’s atomic energy organization and now head of parliament’s energy commission, told state TV, adding that it may have taken five to 10 years to engineer the attack.

    One person responsible for the blackout has been identified and is being sought for arrest, semi-official Nour News reported, citing an official in the Ministry of Intelligence it didn’t identify.

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    In This Story: Iran

    Iran, also called Persia, officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. Its central location in Eurasia and proximity to the Strait of Hormuz give it significant geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital and largest city.

    Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BC. The Iranian Revolution established the current Islamic Republic in 1979.

    Iran’s political system combines elements of a presidential democracy and an Islamic theocracy. Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, OIC, and OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power and has large reserves of fossil fuels — including the world’s largest natural gas supply and the third largest proven oil reserves.

    The country’s rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Historically a multi-ethnic country, Iran remains a pluralistic society comprising numerous ethnic, linguistic, and religious groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris, Kurds, Mazandaranis and Lurs.

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  • In This Story: Israel

    Israel, a Middle Eastern country on the Mediterranean Sea, is regarded by Jews, Christians and Muslims as the biblical Holy Land. Its most sacred sites are in Jerusalem. Within its Old City, the Temple Mount complex includes the Dome of the Rock shrine, the historic Western Wall, Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Israel’s financial hub, Tel Aviv, is known for its Bauhaus architecture and beaches. 

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