File photo of Natanz nuclear facility in Iran. Photograph:( Reuters )
There is lot to suggest that Iran and Israel see each other as existential threats. Both countries have vowed to wipe each other off the face of the earth
The war of words between Iran and Israel over Iran's Natanz nuclear facility outage has heated up. The nuclear site that has been very active in the past few years is a Uranium enrichment site.
The site was started by Iran in 2018 after former US President Donald Trump took US out of the nuclear deal with Iran The facility saw a blackout on Sunday.
Sunday's outage was caused due to a cyberattack. Iran lost a key production facility. Iran has since blamed Israel for what it calls an act of sabotage.
"Various sources confirm that the Zionist regime was behind this incident (at Natanz). However, I am pleased that there have been no human casualties or environmental harm," said Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh.
"Iran's answer will be to take revenge against the Zionist regime at the right time and place," he said.
Iran is also calling the cyber attack 'nuclear terrorism'. It could take 9 months to restore production at Natanz.
Israel has neither denied not taken responsibility of the attack. It has been seen that Israel never confirms or denies such operation.
However, Israeli media is saying a lot about this. It is widely reporting that Israel orchestrated this cyberattack. Israeli public radio even reported that Mossad was behind the operation.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not take responsibility of the attack bur chose to send Iran a message from an undisclosed location.
"The fight against Iran's nuclearisation and its proxies, the fight against the Iranian nuclearisation, the fight against the Iranian arming, is a massive task. The situation that exists today doesn't mean it will be the same situation tomorrow. It is very difficult to explain what we have done here, in this transition from nothingness, from complete helplessness that nothing compares to in the history of nations, to being the world power, yes, world power which we've built here. Definitely a regional power but in certain areas a world power," he said.
The timing of the attack on Natanz facility was significant, it took place when US Secretary of State Lloyd Austin was in Israel.
During his Israel visit, Austin spoke of America's "Ironclad" commitment to Israel.
But when he was asked specifically about Iran and the cyber attack, he didn't have very much to say.
"I'm aware of the reports. I really don't have anything to add on Natanz. In terms of, you know, our efforts to engage Iran in diplomacy on the JCPOA, those efforts will continue. And I'm very obviously supportive of the president's efforts to negotiate a way ahead there. And I'll just leave it at that," said Austin.
A week ago the US and Iran began discussing a truce in Vienna. Israel hasn't been happy about this. It doesn't want the nuclear accord to be revived. It doesn't want Joe Biden to be talking to the Iranians.
There is lot to suggest that Iran and Israel see each other as existential threats. Both countries have vowed to wipe each other off the face of the earth.
Now, with this attack, Israel has sent a message to Washington that it is determined to stop or delay any efforts to restore the Iran nuclear deal. The hardliners in tehran will push for revenge. This could complicate any future negotiations for America.