Defense chief says Israel not ‘necessarily’ behind all incidents at Iranian nuclear facilities
Israel’s defense chief said Sunday that his country is not “necessarily” behind all incidents at Iranian nuclear facilities, after a fire at a site last week.
Three Iranian officials told Reuters that they thought the fire at the underground Natanz site was the result of cyber sabotage. Two of those officials said Israel could have been behind the alleged attack.
When Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz was asked if Israel had anything to do with “mysterious explosions,” he reportedly told Israel Radio: “Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”
“All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I’m not sure they always know how to maintain them,” he said, according to Reuters.
The Natanz site serves as the center of Iran’s uranium enrichment program and is overseen by the United Nations nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency.
Iran’s state news agency IRNA said it was possible Israel and the U.S. participated in sabotage, but did not directly accuse either of the nations.
Israel has vowed not to allow Iran to have atomic weapons, saying Tehran would aim to destroy Israel. But Iranian officials deny they are seeking atomic weapons and say their atomic program is peaceful.
The Stuxnet computer virus that is believed to have been developed by the U.S. and Israel was discovered in 2010 after it targeted Natanz, Reuters noted.