Israeli intelligence was responsible for the incident on Sunday at Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant, which saw a blackout at an electricity distribution network, Israeli media outlets are claiming, citing unnamed “Western sources.”
Calling it an “attack” and an example of “nuclear terrorism,” Iranian officials said the incident had not caused any damage, but reports in the Israeli media that followed disputed that.
Citing anonymous sources, various outlets, including the Times of Israel and the Jerusalem Post, claimed the facility sustained “severe” and “extensive” damage as a result of a “cyber-attack.”
While Tehran stopped short of naming the culprit, the Jerusalem Post did not shy away from naming the intelligence service Mossad as being responsible for the attack. A source quoted by the Post specifically claimed that the incident in Natanz – one of the key sites of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program – was “not an accident.” While no evidence has yet been provided, “Western sources” have been cited as confirming Mossad’s role.
The incident at the facility was initially described as an “electricity problem” within the power grid that had caused neither injuries nor any pollution. However, the head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, Ali Akbar Salehi, later described the incident as “nuclear terrorism,” and said Tehran reserved the right to respond and take action against those responsible.
Israeli officials have not made any public comments on the incident thus far. The media have been quick to interpret statements made on Sunday by both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli Defense Force (IDF) chief of staff as a nod to Tel Aviv’s alleged involvement.
“The battle against Iran and its proxies, and against Iranian armament, is a giant task,” Netanyahu said, in what the Jerusalem Post described as a “hint” at the possibility of Mossad’s involvement. “The situation that exists today is not necessarily the one that will exist tomorrow,” he added.