By| Been Written
Contributing Writer| Telegraph Local
There’s a consensus that an Iranian nuclear facility most likely experienced an act of sabotage recently, with some government agencies referring to it as a possible ‘concerted campaign’.
A Washington Post article said that satellite photos released from last weekend showed a gaping hole in one of the industrial buildings used for enriching uranium.
The damage to the facility on July 2, 2020, known as the Natanz Nuclear Complex, was at first downplayed by the Iranian government. Iranian officials were forced to concede that the damage was more severe than initially reported after detailed pictures were released to the press.
After more reports that a bomb was believed to have caused the damage at Natanz, The New York Times is reporting that Israel is being blamed for the explosion at the facility, although Iranian officials also say that the United States government is also suspected to have planned the attack
Regardless, the bottom line is that the damage caused to the Natanz nuclear facility is much more severe than originally stated, and that the damage will set back Iranian plans for further uranium enrichment for the foreseeable future.
Various facilities in Iran have been under attack for quite some time, with one of the latest known (3) to have occurred on May 9, 2020, when the Shahid Rajaee port, one of Iran’s busiest, came under a very sophisticated cyber attack. Israel was also linked to that, according to an article in The Washington Post.
That attack, which was confirmed by Iranian officials, disrupted the facility’s massive computer network and critical servers, causing chaos throughout the port, bringing port traffic to a crawl for days. Reuters and The Washington Post reported that the cyber attack was retribution on an earlier attempted cyber attack on Israel’s rural water distribution systems.
Enriched uranium is used mostly as a fuel to power nuclear power plants around the world. The refinement process is very sophisticated, and through even further refinement the uranium can be processed as HEU (Highly Enriched Uranium), creating weapons-grade uranium, which is used in nuclear weapons. An article from phys.org explains Iran’s nuclear ambitions and just how good (or not) they are at it.
In 2018, President Trump withdrew the United States from the Iran Nuclear deal, which had basically rewarded Iran with financial incentives for curtailing parts of the country’s nuclear ambitions. The withdrawal gave Iran no reason to slow it’s nuclear plans, and the country proceeded to go its own way with the progression of their nuclear ambitions.
Due to the treaty withdrawal, Iran has suffered heavy economic losses according to an article from NBC News, which reported that the Iranian currency, the Rial is basically worthless and that the country has lost a massive portion of business from other countries.