Iran to start reconstruction of damaged building at Natanz nuclear site

July 6, 2020 - 16:20

TEHRAN — Behrooz Kamalvandi, spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), has said an explosion at a key nuclear facility in Natanz has caused significant damage to the nuclear complex.

According to the spokesman, there were measuring equipment and precision instruments in the complex and many of them were destroyed by the accident.

He said the reconstruction of the damaged building at the Shahid Ahmadi Roshan Natanz Complex will get underway soon. 

“After the accident happened, our priority was to ensure that there are no casualties, to find the cause of the incident and the way to reconstruct the complex and compensate for the losses,” IRNA on Monday quoted Kamalvandi as saying.

“In the first step we found out that there was no casualty but the financial losses were significant,” he said.

As the Supreme National Security Council announced, the security bodies are now aware of the cause of accident, but, due to security considerations they do not tend to comment on it, Kamalvandi explained.

Elaborating on the features of the accident, he said the nuclear site’s construction process started seven years ago and it was about to be completed after two years, but, due to issues related to the Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the construction process did not continue.

More samples of advanced centrifuges were supposed to be produced in the same building, Kamalvandi added.

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 incident has aroused suspicion about Israel or the United States’ possible involvement. 

Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi said on Sunday that “Iran cannot be allowed to have nuclear capabilities.” To that end, he claimed, “We take actions that are better left unsaid.”

In the past, Israel and the United States have used cyberattacks to undermine Iran’s nuclear program, but that has been ruled out as a cause in this case.

Some analysts are of the opinion that Israel is seeking to misuse the incident and attribute it to itself.

Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday those who have not done their duties properly regarding the incidents in the Natanz nuclear facility and Sina Clinic will be held accountable.

“The definite policy of the judicial body is to investigate and question directors who have not done their duties,” Raisi asserted.

33 people were killed or injured in an explosion caused by a gas leak at Sina Clinic in northern Tehran on July 1.

MH/PA

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