In Iran, nuclear site security fuels political debate

The sabotage of the Natanz nuclear power plant, which Tehran blamed on Israel, sent shock waves through the Iranian political scene. Since this attack, which damaged many centrifuges in the uranium enrichment plant on April 11, the intelligence ministry, responsible for protecting nuclear facilities, has been the target of criticism. In the hands of President Hassan Rohani, this ministry is accused by its adversaries, in particular the Revolutionary Guards – the country’s ideological army – of“Incompetence” and of ” mismanagement “.

Mohsen Rezaï, former commander of the Revolutionary Guards and declared presidential candidate on June 18, described the Natanz incident as an attack on “Honor” country, calling for a “Safe purge” within the services supposed to protect the nuclear program. To demonstrate the existence of loopholes within the intelligence ministry, Mohsen Rezai went so far as to confirm the theft of nuclear archives claimed by Tel Aviv, which the Iranian authorities have so far denied.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Iran Blames Israel for ‘Act of Terrorism’ at Natanz Nuclear Site

In April 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented these documents to the press. “Secrets”, stolen a few weeks earlier from a warehouse near Tehran, as proof of Iran’s willingness to“Acquire nuclear weapons”. Former US President Donald Trump, a month later, invoked this ” proof “ by announcing Washington’s withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal. “The secret nuclear documents have been stolen. Microdrones came and performed missions, said Mohsen Rezaï. This shows that we have been infiltrated at the security level. “

An electoral goal

Since the Natanz incident, the second in this complex already targeted in July 2020, Mohsen Rezaï is not the only politician to have unveiled previously secret information on the security flaws in the nuclear program, with the aim of discredit the Rouhani government. On April 13, Conservative MP and former head of Iran’s atomic energy agency Fereydoun Abbasi for the first time confirmed that the July 2020 incident in Natanz was not a ” accident “, as Iranian officials presented, but a “Explosion” caused by “Ammunition placed in a table transported to the site”, which escaped the vigilance of security agents.

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