Iran probes watchdog cameras in nuclear site ‘sabotage’ — Analysis
Tehran has alleged that monitoring cameras set up at an Iranian nuclear site by the UN’s atomic watchdog may have been “sabotaged” by Israel, and possibly even used to assist an attack on the facility in June.
During a briefing in London on Friday, Iran’s envoy to the UK Mohsen Baharvand called on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to allow authorities in Tehran more time to probe potential sabotage at a centrifuge workshop in the city of Karaj, which was also rocked by a mysterious explosion over the summer.
“There was a sabotage there by Israel and some cameras were damaged and there was some investigation going on,”Bloomberg reported that the Iranian ambassador stated the same, and added that Iranian investigators are looking into the possibility of using the cameras in connection with the attack.
IAEA was asked to allow us to continue our investigation.
According to AFP, however, IAEA was not mentioned in any official documents. “categorically”The Iranian government had told the agency they were investigating possible sabotage and that the surveillance cameras of the Iranian government did not play any role in the explosion.
While no individual claimed to be responsible for the attacks of June, the New York Times, which cited intelligence sources, said that Keraj’s site was among a number of targets Israel had presented to Donald Trump last year. It was far from the first strange incident at an Iranian facility, with a similar attack taking place on another site in Natanz back in April – also pinned on Israel by authorities in Tehran.
IAEA monitored several nuclear sites in Iran after Iran restricted inspectors’ access. The devices were part of an attempt by the IAEA to decrease Iran’s violation of the nuclear deal with other world powers. Trump pulled the United States out of the nuclear deal, and imposed sanctions again. This led to Iran gradually abandoning its pledges. In light of the fallout from the sanctions, the United States and Iran reached a temporary agreement with the IAEA that would allow remote surveillance to sensitive facilities such as the Karaj centrifuge plant.
Washington for its part has asked Tehran to permit the IAEA replacement of one camera that was damaged in the June attacks. “appropriate response”if it refuses to do so. Concerns have also been raised by the IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi, who stated last month that they are not able to provide a full audit. “close to the point when [it] would not be able to guarantee continuity of knowledge” concerning Iran’s nuclear energy program.
As American and Iranian officials resume negotiations to revive the nuclear agreement, after a long hiatus, the sabotage probe is continuing. However, the Joe Biden Administration appears to be redoubling its efforts in diplomacy, even declaring that Washington may now consider its options. “options”Should negotiations fall apart. Israel has also reportedly requested that the US conduct joint military drills to train for an eventual strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities in case negotiations fail.
READ MORE: US tells Iran to give UN atomic watchdog access to centrifuge components workshop, or face ‘response’