Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz . (AP/Hasan Sarbakhshian) (AP/Hasan Sarbakhshian)
Natanz Iran

Iran alleges that “enemies” are constantly seeking to destroy its nuclear program and that the Islamic Republic is repeatedly successful in repelling these attacks.

Iran successfully thwarted repeated attempts by “enemies” to incapacitate its nuclear plant at Fordo, Asqar Zarea’an, deputy head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), told media on Saturday.

“Recently, a series of electronic boards were discovered that had been planted in certain equipment at Fordo nuclear site to carry out sabotage acts in the enrichment processes,” Zarea’an said in an interview with Iran’s Khorassan daily, Iran’s Fars news agency reported.

He claimed that “swift action” taken by Iran’s security forces thwarted “enemies’ plots to paralyze the Fordo nuclear site.”

Zarea’an explained that Fordo acts as a backup for the Natanz nuclear facility and that “enemies” are attempting to weaken this support through methods other than military operations. He did not disclose who these “enemies” were.

Fordo is a uranium-enrichment facility buried deep down in a mountain which, according to Iranian and western military analysts, cannot be disabled by military operations.

The Natanz site was hit in 2010 by the Stuxnet computer worm, which reportedly destroyed roughly a fifth of Iran’s nuclear centrifuges by causing them to spin out of control. The attack was thought to be an American or Israeli operation.

Repeated Allegations of Sabotage and Espionage

Zarea’an warned in August that “enemies [were] seeking to hit…the country’s nuclear industry through new methods and instruments.”

“Similar to the past, the enemy is seeking to prevent Iran’s peaceful nuclear activities by using new instruments, and we should identify and defuse these moves with wisdom and prudence,” Zarea’an said, claiming that all such plots have so far been futile.

A year ago, Zarea’an claimed that the Islamic Republic had “disrupted plots by foreign spies” to recruit its nuclear experts and “stopped sabotage attempts through faulty foreign equipment supplied for its facilities.”

“We aim to raise awareness about the enemy, which is more hostile to us every day,” Zarea’an, who is also in charge of security for Iran’s nuclear program, said, without naming specific countries suspected of being behind the alleged sabotage and recruitment efforts.

Foreign intelligence agencies tried to recruit the experts when they traveled abroad, and the experts informed their superiors when they returned home, he continued, without elaborating on the number of attempts or the locations where the contacts allegedly occurred.

Zarea’an also showed parts and equipment, including modems and pumps, which he claimed had been deliberately tampered with in order to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. He described the items on display, which he said had been manufactured in Western and Asian countries, as only a small sample of the sabotage.

By: United with Israel Staff

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