Main cause of Natanz nuclear facility incident to be announced at ‘appropriate time’: spokesman

July 4, 2020 - 15:37

TEHRAN — Tehran has announced that the main cause of a recent incident at the Natanz nuclear facility has been determined and will be announced at an “appropriate time”.

Keyvan Khosravi, spokesman of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), said on Friday that different hypotheses regarding the incident were investigated, which led to the determination of its main cause.

“Due to some security considerations, the cause and manner of this incident will be announced at a proper time,” Press TV quoted him as saying.

He said the damage to one of the sheds under construction at the Natanz complex was limited and investigators did not find any nuclear material at the building.

The Iranian security official rejected rumors about radioactive contamination following the incident.

Behrouz Kamalvandi, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), on Thursday reported the incident, saying it had caused no stoppage or slowdown of enrichment because the affected shed was actually under construction and not part of the enrichment process yet.

His remarks came hours after an informed Iranian security official told Press TV that there was no evidence to show that the incident has been an act of intentional sabotage.

Kamalvandi said, “The incident took place at about 02:00 local time this morning and caused no loss of life,” adding, “We have many open-space sheds at the Shahid Ahmadi Roshan enrichment complex. Our enrichment activities are mostly done underground.”

“Our open-space sheds do different things. This was one of those sheds, which was under construction. We have material damage, but no loss of life,” he added.

A security official, who was speaking to Press TV on condition of anonymity earlier in the day, also affirmed that the incident is under thorough examination by expert teams from the AEOI.

He likewise ruled out the notion of contamination, saying the affected site did not contain any radioactive material, adding that none of the AEOI’s personnel were present there at the time of the incident.

Natanz is a uranium enrichment center located in the city of the same name in Isfahan Province, some 250 kilometers (155 miles) south of the capital, Tehran.

It is among the sites now being monitored by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) under a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers.

The IAEA, meanwhile, announced that it was aware of the incident but did not foresee any change to the UN nuclear watchdog’s regular verification of Iran’s commitments to the body’s Safeguards Agreement as a result of the development.

It said the location where the incident occurred does not contain nuclear materials.

The Safeguards Agreement between Iran and the IAEA ensures non-diversion of nuclear material declared by the Islamic Republic.

MH/PA

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