Volume. 12230

Iran holds exhibition on West’s nuclear sabotage attempts
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TEHRAN - The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran’s Safety and Security Deputy Director has blamed Western companies for trying to sabotage industrial devices and components used for the country's nuclear energy program.

Asghar Zarean made the comments on Monday at an exhibition in Tehran, where various mechanical and electronic parts deliberately modified to sabotage Iran's nuclear program were put on public display, AP reported.

Zarean showed journalists intentionally-defected pumps, valves, engines and programmable logic controllers that were among the parts on display at the exhibition.

"The exhibition shows only a small part of the hostile measures taken against the Islamic Republic's peaceful nuclear activities, which have been uncovered so far. We aim to raise awareness among visitors by exhibiting portions of the hostile measures taken by the enemy, who is becoming more hostile to us every day," Zarean said.

The sabotage attempts were mainly aimed at causing crashes in the production lines, mostly by disrupting vacuum pumps, according to him.

He said the AEOI has set up an advanced laboratory that detects faulty parts and prevents them from entering the country's nuclear sites. Enemies also tried to tap conversations between nuclear experts.

He also showed reporters a common dial-up modem which had three microphones built into it to record and transmit sounds.

Commenting on a recent incident when Iran shot down an Israeli drone near the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, Zarean said the country would bring down "any [hostile] flying object" approaching its nuclear facilities.

"The issue of drones [aiming to spy on Iran's nuclear facilities] is not new. But with the dominance, resistance and vigilance that our friends in the air defense system have shown, any flying object aiming to approach our nuclear sites will be targeted. We are not joking with anyone. From now on, they will see that [our response] to such jokes will be serious. And we saw an example recently, when our friends [IRGC air defense] with strong will and with the help of the holy Shia imams hit [the drone], and if anybody has bad intentions on the Iranian soil, they should pay even higher prices," Zarean said.

Iran has repeatedly defused cyber worms and malware, including Stuxnet and Flame viruses that targeted the country's oil sector, which provides 80 percent of Iran's foreign revenue.

In 2010, the so-called Stuxnet virus temporarily disrupted operation of thousands of centrifuges, key components in nuclear fuel production, at the Natanz facility.

Israel has never commented on the allegations but is widely believed to have been involved in the Stuxnet attack.

Iranian experts have minimized the threats by using domestically-made technologies that leave foreign-made viruses and worms incapable of infiltrating computers and electronic equipments, Zarean explained.

"We are able to make a centrifuge machine from scratch, (making) both the raw material and the equipments, which include more than 100 small and large parts. We can build the centrifuges that we are using, including P1 and P2, and also the new generation of centrifuges with the capacity of 24 SWU (Separative Work Units). From the ground up, the machines are built with domestic resources," the AEOI deputy director stated.

Zarean said foreign intelligence agencies targeted the experts when they travelled abroad and that the experts informed their superiors about the contact when they returned home.

He said the attempts had failed because their experts and scientists have been trained and "handle the situation with ease" when travelling abroad.

"[I urge the enemies] not to waste more money and to leave our men [nuclear scientists] alone. Our dear colleagues are fully briefed and they are aware of the enemy's objectives and know his approach very well. So all enemy plots have been thwarted and will be thwarted in the future. We have many plans to brief, raise awareness and train (nuclear scientists). 

“Those who travel abroad or somehow enter areas covered by enemy intelligence and are approached by the enemy for cooperation, they will recognize the enemy and even recognize where the enemy is affiliated to. Then they handle the situation with ease, and as soon as they are back home, or as soon as they face any difficulty, they inform us and we are thankful to them."

The exhibition took place as Iran continues to negotiate with the 5+1 group over its nuclear energy program.


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