Accident in Iran’s Natanz Nuclear Facility Was the Result of a Cyberattack

  • The Natanz nuclear facility has been attacked by threat actors again, possibly Israelis.
  • The attack involved a power outage that damage advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges.
  • The incident hasn’t resulted in radioactive contamination but will be a regression for the Iranian nuclear program.

There has been a power outage in Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility on Saturday that was officially described as an act of “nuclear terrorism,” causing physical damage to several advanced uranium-enriching centrifuges and setting the country’s nuclear program back by up to nine months. Tehran officials stated that there had been no radiation contamination incidents, human casualties, or anything that the public should worry about. However, what exactly has happened remains blurry right now.

There are various sources that mention a large explosion that destroyed the nuclear facility's internal power system. Some analysts go as far as to suggest that it was all the result of an Israeli cyberattack, pointing the finger to ‘Mossad.’ The state of Israel hasn’t made any official comments on the incident. Still, Hebrew media and high-ranking political persons have been weirdly vocal about it, almost hinting at involvement.

This is the same facility that experienced explosions and fire almost a year ago, with the culprits and the exact reasons for the accident remaining a mystery, even though we had some unconfirmable attributions from a group of hackers calling themselves “Homeland Cheetahs.” In general, there are many entities in the world who would like to see Iran’s nuclear program destroyed, and threats for it come from all directions.

The spokesman for Iran’s atomic program, Ali Akbar Salehi, stated the following on the national news network:

To thwart the goals of this terrorist movement, the Islamic Republic of Iran will continue to seriously improve nuclear technology on the one hand and to lift oppressive sanctions on the other hand. While condemning this desperate move, the Islamic Republic of Iran emphasizes the need for a confrontation by the international bodies and the (International Atomic Energy Agency) against this nuclear terrorism.

While the two centrifuges that were affected are only a small subset of a total chain of 164 units, they were the most advanced, able to enrich uranium 50 times faster than the first generation. The attack reportedly came only hours after the scientists at the Natanz facility activated them for the first time, so the timing seems to be too precise to fall into the “accident” spectrum of possibilities.

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