Israel’s defence minister said on Sunday it is not “necessarily” behind every mysterious incident in Iran, after a fire at the Natanz nuclear site prompted some Iranian officials to say it was the result of cyber sabotage.
Israel, widely believed to be the region’s only nuclear power, has pledged never to allow Iran to obtain atomic weapons, saying Tehran advocates its destruction. Iran denies ever seeking nuclear arms and says its atomic programme is peaceful.
The underground Natanz site, where a one-storey building was partly burned on Thursday, is the centrepiece of Iran’s uranium enrichment programme and monitored by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog.
Asked whether Israel had anything to do with “mysterious explosions” at Iranian nuclear sites, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said: “Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”
“All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I’m not sure they always know how to maintain them,” Gantz told Israel Radio.
Three Iranian officials who spoke to Reuters said they thought cyber sabotage had been involved at Natanz, but offered no evidence. Two said Israel could have been behind it.