The state-run Islamic Public News Agency (IRNA) reported that a sabotage attack targeting one of the facilities belonging to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) in the Tehran suburb of Karaj had been thwarted. According to the statement, the incident did not cause any damage.
The report also highlighted that the incident was prevented thanks to precautionary measures taken to protect the AEOI sites. Iranian authorities launched an extensive investigation regarding the latest incident, the report added.
Stressing that such attacks aim to damage Iranian nuclear activities, the Iranian state news agency emphasized that Iran’s nuclear program would continue despite all these acts.
On the other hand, some reports have also circulated in media outlets, claiming that the attack caused major damage in the facility despite Iranian authorities’ denials. Some Israeli media outlets alleged that they had been strong indications indicating that the facility was heavily damaged. However, it stated that there is no way to confirm the damage independently.
The same outlet allegedly reported that the facility which was attacked might be one of the centrifuge manufacturing sites where Iran uses for its uranium enrichment program.
On the other hand, The New York Times published a news report that affirms the claims on early Thursday. Citing a senior intelligence official and an Iranian who has knowledge about the incident, the report affirmed that the attacked facility is one of the main centrifuges manufacturing sites in Iran, known as the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company, abbreviately TESA. The facility is known as being on the list of targets presented to the Trump administration last year by Israel, the report added.
Iranian media reported earlier Wednesday that a sabotage attempt targeting a building of the AEOI, which was carried out through a quadcopter, was foiled. Additionally, Iranian Labor News Agency (ILNA) reported a drone attack aiming at the Barakat Pharmaceutical Industries complex in Karaj, which is used to manufacture COVID-19 vaccines. However, the report was subsequently removed from the agency’s website.
The ILNA editor later explained that the report was removed over a security agency call informing her that the attack targeted the AEOI building, which was located next to the Barakat Pharmaceutical Company.
It is seen that several mysterious attacks over a year have targeted the Iranian nuclear sites. One of the most striking ones was the cyberattack targeting the Iranian nuclear facility in Natanz, which caused a huge fire. Iran holds Israel responsible for some of these incidents.
The latest incident came at a sensitive time when Iran and P5+1 countries are maintaining talks in Vienna to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. The delegations completed the sixth round of talks without reaching a final agreement.