The Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), Ali Akber Salehi, said that “the Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its right to act against the perpetrators of this heinous move,” while pointing to the attack as evidence of Iran’s enemies’ frustrations over their ability to curtail its industrial and nuclear developments.
Iran has made great strides in innovating on its nuclear technology, adding centrifuges, and attaining 20% uranium enrichment stock higher than the pre-JCPOA era, cutting its major import bill by $10 billion while expected to raise science and technology exports to an estimated $1 billion this year, continuing to make major strides in nuclear and industrial development and capabilities – not for ‘nuclear weapons’ acquisition as the West accuses, but for economic, industrial as well as defense purposes. In addition, these expansive developments to its nuclear energy have worked alongside its efforts to alleviate the disastrous effects sanctions have had on the Islamic Republic.
Iran has continued to build international and economic bridges eastward, entailed in the recent Iran-China agreement that would provide it with the necessary economic support to not have it chained on economic, financial, or import-dependent terms of the West.
The attack came amidst indirect talks between the US and Iran in Vienna, where efforts by the current Iranian administration to return Iran to the JCPOA have been taking place.
The talks appeared to fall apart following the US’s constant demands to renegotiate. The US, showing a refusal to remove all nuclear-related, as well as non-nuclear sanctions, proves that Biden’s statement last month extending Executive Order 12957, is a commitment that overrides any supposed intent of sanctions removal both demanded by the Iranian leadership and outlined in the JCPOA as a necessary precondition of even considering a return to the nuclear deal.
With the US constantly reneging and equivocating the terms of the deal, knowing fully well that it does not want to lift the sanctions, the most recent talks have been a process of just “going through the motions,” according to Iranian analyst Dr. Sam Torabi in comments to PressTV Sunday, that have shown how cooperative Iran has been throughout the process.
But the clear inability for the US to hold up its end has pushed it and its allies to resort to renewed attacks on old sites of interest. While the Natanz plant is one of several nuclear energy producing facilities in Iran, it is one of the most targeted by the Zionist entity as the focus of accusations of a nuclear weapons program by it and the MEK back in 2002.
Even the talks to revive the deal, aimed at giving the US the final benefit in conjuring a last-ditch effort to curb Iran’s economic and productive development, have found themselves amounting to no progress.
The US, having appeared to concede to Iran’s demands to remove all sanctions, later backtracked on its commitment to removing Trump-era “maximum pressure” measures instilled in 2018.
Iranian officials also reminded the US that at an at least 3-month long verification process was necessary to ensure sanctions were lifted before Iran would comply with its end of the deal.
Iran: No incentive to comply
Israeli collaborators within the IAEA, and alongside American and various European intelligence agencies, have repeatedly been the cause of many previous attacks on nuclear facilities and assassinations of Iranian scientists, often reacting to Iran’s development or progression of nuclear energy where ‘diplomatic’ negotiations and sanctions have failed to produce quick-enough outcomes.
In 2019, Dutch intelligence aided the CIA and Mossad in a similar cyberattack on the same nuclear facility, waged through a Stuxnet virus.https://if-cdn.com/sCMrKFf?v=1&app=1
This strain of cyber warfare, developed in the mid-2000s by the CIA and Mossad, was delivered to the reactor in 2007, when the Dutch mole posing under a construction firm successfully installed it into the plant.
This left the Natanz plant vulnerable to the US’s attacks via “Operation Olympic Games,” a series of cyber covert attacks by the US and Dutch, French, German, UK and Israeli intelligence that became accelerated in the US Obama administration.
With Iran remaining steadfast in the face of these attacks, the Obama administration introduced the JCPOA three years later, which, along with China, Russia, France, the UK, Germany, and the rest of the European Union, was tasked with curbing Iran’s nuclear enrichment in exchange for the US’s steps, in ‘good faith’ to remove the sanctions.
Though the US’s 2018 introduction of maximum pressure sanctions clearly annulled any reason for Iran to comply under the deal’s terms, Israel’s repeated illegal and rogue military and cyber warfare against Iranian nuclear facilities – which have been proven to comply with the so-called international community’s own standards –undoubtedly ensure Iran’s right to resist.
The US and its European allies, supportive of the Zionist entity’s military and intelligence-based cooperation, have been the perfect enablers and facilitators of cyber warfare attacks against Iran. Thanks to Operation Olympic Games, getting access to Iran’s nuclear sites by means of European intermediaries proved a success in 2007-2012: so why not push legislation that would make “international inspection” the vehicle, by international law, for more surveillance, intel-gathering, and sabotage?
Likewise, the Zionist entity has used its impunity towards its favor as it has continued to launch such attacks, assisted by its European and American allies who, as they exchange information and coordinate under the table, present themselves to the Islamic Republic with the pretext of “compromise” and “negotiation.” Barbara Slavin, a director at the US based Atlantic Council, tweeted today that the “best response” for Iran was to return to the table in Vienna with the US to “coordinate a rapid return to compromise.”
Yet, as is the case with all negotiations, as two-step efforts, if the Zionist entity continues to have the nerve, and permission, to attack, Iran will reserve the right to defend itself against attacks. As Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said, the attack was clearly “a bold act of nuclear terrorism on the Iranian soil.”
Julia M.K. is a Beirut-based analyst, writer, and political commentator. Along with regular appearances on PressTV, her work has also appeared in Al-Mayadeen, Al-Akhbar, Mirat al-Jazeera, Counterpunch, and elsewhere.