New information suggesting Israeli involvement in last week’s explosion at Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant has recently emerged, amidst a series of incidents that have taken place across several Iranian infrastructure sites in recent weeks.
Two days ago, the New York Times quoted an anonymous Middle Eastern intelligence official who claimed Israel was responsible for the incident, which occurred last week. The source told the paper that Israel had planted a powerful bomb, in apparent contradiction with earlier claims by a Kuwaiti newspaper of an Israeli cyberattack, which also quoted an anonymous source.
The new claims came to light as Iran finally admitted their Natanz centrifuge program was set back by the explosion and resultant fire. The regime also claimed to have found what caused the incident, but refused to disclose any information, citing concerns around “national security”.
These developments surrounding the Natanz incident emerged as other unusual events continued to afflict the country. Three days ago, another explosion damaged a power plant in the city of Ahvaz, south-western Iran. State media claimed the origin of the blast was a malfunctioning transformer, although the cause of the malfunction remains unknown.
Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz neither confirmed nor denied Israeli involvement in the Ahvaz incident, stating that “not every event that happens in Iran is connected to us”.
Other recent incidents in the country include a chlorine gas leak on 4th July, which poisoned 70 workers at the Karun petrochemical centre in the city of Mahshahr, south-eastern Iran, as well an explosion reported on Tuesday, which damaged a factory and killed two in the city of Kahrizak, south of Tehran.