Israel reportedly launched a cyberattack against Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday morning, causing severe damage to Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.
“In the early hours of Sunday morning, the underground Natanz facility suffered an electrical disruption in what was widely speculated to be an Israeli cyberattack,” The Times of Israel reported. “Iran said the attack did not cause any casualties and did not cause radioactive pollution. Israel has officially refrained from commenting on the matter, and Iran has not specifically accused the Jewish state of being responsible for the incident.”
According to The Times of Israel, unnamed intelligence sources told Hebrew news outlets that Mossad, the national intelligence agency of Israel, was behind the attack, which was more severe than Iran indicated.
The attack came the day after Iran, the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, celebrated its National Nuclear Technology Day, and the day after Iranian scientists began operating more powerful centrifuges, which allow for faster uranium enrichment.
“The disruption at Natanz appears to have been designed to counter Iran’s efforts to raise pressure on the United States by amassing greater quantities of uranium and enriching it to higher levels as the two sides negotiate a return to the 2015 nuclear deal,” The Times of Israel reported.
The attack comes as President Biden plans to lift sanctions on Iran and return to the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also called the Iran nuclear deal, despite warnings from the international community.
“A nuclear agreement with Iran is again on the table, but history has taught us that agreements like this with extremist regimes are worth as much as garlic peel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday. “To our best friends I say – an agreement with Iran which paves its way to nuclear weapons that threaten us with destruction – an agreement like this will not bind us.”
The Iran nuclear deal was widely criticized as Iran used the funds acquired from the deal, estimated to be between $100 to $150 billion, to fund terrorist organizations in the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, Iran also secretly violated the nuclear deal after it was passed.
In 2019, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, revealed that JCPOA negotiations had required Iran to destroy parts of their nuclear reactors by filling them with cement, but Iran secretly acquired replacement parts so that the functionality of the reactors would not be ultimately affected. Salehi also revealed that pictures of the reactors filled with cement had been photoshopped.