Iran confirmed that a nuclear site was significantly damaged following a mysterious incident on Thursday.
The Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, located around 200 miles south of Tehran, was destroyed by a fire on Thursday morning, with Israel accused of masterminding an attack by a Kuwaiti news organisation.
There were no recorded casualties or signs of radioactive pollution but the damage to one of Iran’s main uranium enrichment plants is expected to set the country’s nuclear enrichment programme back by approximately two months.
Iran confirmed that serious damage has occurred at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility (pictured), which could put back the country’s nuclear enrichment programme back by two months
Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation spokesman Behrouz Kamalvand told state news outlet IRNA on Sunday: ‘There were no victims… but the damage is significant on a financial level.’
‘In the medium term, this accident could slow down the development and production [of advanced centrifuges].
‘God willing, and with constant effort… we will compensate for this slowdown so that the rebuilt site will have even more capacity than before.’
The facility was destroyed by a fire on Thursday morning, with Israel suspected of being behind the cyber-attack
The damage took place around 200 miles south from Tehran, who claim that its nuclear programme does not have military dimension
Images show a one-storey Natanz building with a damaged roof and blackened walls caused by a fire, while doors appear to have been blown off their hinges by an explosion.
It is believed that the Natanz nuclear complex, which has been the subject of sabotage attacks in the past, is mostly-underground.
The alleged attacks come as the United States continues its campaign of so called ‘maximum pressure’ by applying crushing sanctions on Iran and its officials.
The Natanz complex is mostly underground and is among the sites now monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency after Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers
Natanz, also known as the Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant, is among the sites now monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency after Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
But after the United States unilaterally abandoned the deal in 2018, Tehran announced it would be withdrawing from certain commitments in the accord.
Tehran has since denied that its nuclear programme has military dimension.