Iran has said it is investigating the possibility that International Atomic Energy Agency cameras played a role in an alleged Israeli attack on an Iranian nuclear facility, suggesting that was the reason for the refusal. Tehran to request repairs to damaged surveillance equipment.
“There was sabotage by Israel and cameras were damaged and an investigation was underway,” Iranian ambassador to the UK Mohsen Baharvand said during a briefing in London on Friday. according to Bloomberg.
He added that Iranian justice investigators have investigated whether the cameras may have been used to aid in the attack. “We have just asked the IAEA to wait some time for this investigation to be completed,” Baharvand said.
Last month, the UN nuclear watchdog “categorically” denied that its cameras were used in the June drone attack that allegedly hit Iran Centrifuge Technology Company in the northwestern town of Karaj. from Tehran, after Iran said it was investigating the possibility.
The IAEA Director General “categorically rejects the idea that the Agency’s cameras played a role in helping a third party launch an attack on the TESA Karaj complex,” reads an IAEA report consulted by AFP.
Iran told the IAEA that “its ‘security and judicial authorities’ are investigating whether terrorists used the agency’s cameras to launch an attack on the compound,” the November report said.
According to the IAEA, the explosion destroyed one of its cameras at the site and severely damaged another. We don’t know how many cameras there are.
In September, Iran admitted having removed several damaged surveillance cameras installed by the IAEA at the Karaj site. It has since refused requests to repair surveillance equipment damaged in the June attack.
In July, Iran accused Israel of mounting the sabotage attack on the site, which manufactures components for machines used to enrich uranium. Without disclosing the details of the assault, Iranian authorities admitted that the strike damaged the building.
According to Nournews, June 24, 2021 “The security forces succeeded in thwarting an act of sabotage against one of the buildings of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) in Karaj, in the province of Alborz” . Satellite image of July 1 tells a different story. # Iran #Nuclear #JCPOA pic.twitter.com/QTAqTml4HT
– The Intel lab (@TheIntelLab) July 3, 2021
The attack on Karaj was just the latest in a series of alleged attacks on Iran’s nuclear program that have escalated regional hostilities in recent months as world powers try to save the now collapsed nuclear deal. Israel is widely believed to have carried out the sabotage, although it has not claimed responsibility for it.
Baharvand’s comments on Friday came as negotiations to revive a landmark 2015 deal reducing Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief resumed in Vienna.
That deal began to crumble in 2018 when the United States withdrew from it and reinstated the sanctions. Iran in turn has resumed intensifying its nuclear activities in violation of the agreement.
The pact signed in Vienna in 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for easing economic sanctions.
Meanwhile, Israeli and US military leaders are set to discuss possible military exercises to practice destroying Iranian nuclear facilities in the worst case, a senior US official said.