Although sabotage attacks targeting Iranian scientists and nuclear sites definitely inflicted some damage, they haven’t changed the bigger strategic picture, says Iranian journalist and security analyst Mahan Abedin, adding that the Islamic Republic will continue to enrich uranium until the US sanctions are verifiably lifted.
On 11 April, a blast supposedly damaged thousands of IR-1 uranium enrichment centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site. While it was initially believed that the site was subjected to a cyber-attack, it was later reported that the act of sabotage was performed with the use of explosives. The incident was described as “nuclear terrorism” by Ali Akbar Salehi, the chief of the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI), who stressed that Tehran reserves the right to retaliate.
Tehran pointed the finger at Israel, but the latter refrained from comments. For its part, Washington distanced itself from the incident although Politico did not rule out that the US government may have received a notification, “possibly a veiled one, at some level”.
The explosion came amid the US-Iranian indirect talks over the resumption of the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), torn apart by the Trump administration in 2018. The Jerusalem Post believes that the attack sought to weaken Tehran’s negotiating position.
However, it appears that the Islamic Republic’s rivals have seriously miscalculated the effect of the attack, as Tehran is due to introduce 1,000 more…