The explosion appears to have been caused by anomalies in the load applied to the transformers . The power plant is controlled by controllers that should regulate the power in order to keep the system from crashing. This is perhaps indicative of a cyber attack on the Stuxnet model. This is happening only several weeks after the Israeli cyber attack on Iran’s Port of Shahid in retaliation to the Iranian cyber attack on Israeli water facilities.
Natanz “incident” was a blast at Iran’s largest enrichment site
US satellites photos indicated to analysts that the “incident” at the Natanz enrichment facility on July 1 was an act of sabotage caused by a bomb. The blast was seen to damage a newly opened centrifuge production site at the northwest corner of the Natanz complex, 250km south of Tehran. In an effort to play down the occurrence, Iran officials described the target as an “industrial shed” and maintained that production at the facility was not interrupted. However, according to one Middle East observer, a bomb was likely planted inside the facility and caused substantial damage.
Six days earlier, the Iranian capital was rattled by a huge, mysterious explosion in the mountains east of Tehran near the Parchin military base and a missile factory, after a blast in the city itself.
One analyst, Fabian Hinz, described the blast at Natanz as “very, very suspicious” with the potential for significantly delaying the Iranian nuclear program’s work with centrifuges. The main enrichment facility is said to be sunk underground with more than seven meters of concrete on top as protection. It is there, under close guard after previous attacks, that spinning centrifuges produce enriched uranium for a nuclear weapon.
“Theoretically speaking, Israel, the US and others have an interest to stop this Iran nuclear clock, or at least show Iran there’s a price for going that way,” said Yoel Guzansky, a senior fellow at Israel’s Institute for National Security Studies. “If Iran won’t stop, we might see more ‘accidents’ in Iran.”
Both US President Donald Trump and Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu have repeatedly vowed not to let Iran attain a nuclear bomb. However, the Islamic Republic appears to be bent on its drive for a nuclear arsenal. The nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna, recently reported that its inspectors were denied by Tehran access to at least two suspicious sites and voiced concerns over the work concealed.
Iran is calculated by most analysts to have this year amassed enough low enriched uranium to produce a single nuclear weapon by successive breaches of the 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers, from which President Trump took the US out in 2019. Based on the IAEA’s most recent report, Iran’s breakout time could be just 3-4 months and become shorter as its store of enriched uranium accumulates.
*** Previously Reported…
A large blast at the big Parchin military facility associated in the past with nuclear warhead development was claimed by Iran’s defense ministry spokesman as occurring at a gas storage facility in the public area of the site – not the military base. 30km outside Tehran. The explosion on Thursday night, June 25, sent orange flames and plumes of smoke shooting high in the sky. The spokesman said the fire had been extinguished and there were no casualties.
At around the same time, half of the Iranian city of Shiraz was blacked out by an explosion at the local power station. The two incidents – both under investigation -raised panicky concern on social media of a possible attack on the country.
The nuclear watchdog has for years been denied access to the Parchin military facility to investigate past allegations that it was used prior to 2004 for the secret testing of high explosive components for a nuclear warhead, which Tehran just as consistently denied.
Subsequently, on April 30, 2018, an archive seized by Israel in Tehran revealed that the Parchin site was a key part of Iran’s ongoing nuclear weapons research and development program. This archive contained documentary evidence that in 2003 Iran was operating a nuclear weapons program, codenamed the AMAD Plan, which aimed to build five nuclear weapons and prepare an underground nuclear test site. Parchin was a key part of that program, used for a specialized, difficult to develop, neutron initiator to start the chain reaction in a nuclear explosion. Some of the equipment is believed to be held ready for later use, potentially when Iran’s 2015 nuclear accord with the six world powers expires.
Last week, the International Atomic Energy Agency claimed its inspectors were still denied access to two sites suspected of nuclear activity on the grounds that Iran’s military facilities are out of bounds to external inspection.