Commenting on Natanz explosion is up to SNSC, says nuclear chief

September 8, 2020 - 23:24

TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Salehi, the director of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Tuesday that he was not authorized to speak about a July explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility and that it was up to a top security body to comment on the explosion.

“The Supreme National Security Council should comment on those behind the sabotage incident at the Natanz nuclear plant,” Salehi told the Islamic Consultative Assembly News Agency (ICANA) at the sidelines of a security meeting held in the Iranian Parliament.

On Tuesday afternoon, the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee held a meeting to discuss nuclear activities in Iran’s neighboring countries such as Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia.

“The Emirates has launched its first nuclear reactor and is expected to have four nuclear reactors. Saudi Arabia has also made a serious decision to enter this field. Extensive activities have been launched in Turkey in connection with the construction of power plants,” Salehi said, adding the parliamentary committee is seeking consultations with the AEOI to assess the security implications of these activities for Iran.

He also said the Natanz explosion has been discussed at the committee’s past meetings and that the details of the explosion have been clarified.

According to the director, the AEOI has taken measures to obtain equipment and to make preparations for producing advanced centrifuges immediately after the explosion occurred at the nuclear facility.

On July 2, Iran announced that an incident took place at the Natanz facility, but it didn’t disclose the cause of the incident at the time. However, at a later time, it declared that the incident was an act of sabotage.

“Security investigations confirm the sabotage [nature] of this action and what is certain is that the explosion took place in Natanz, but the security officials will announce the details of the explosion and how it took place and what materials were used in the explosion,” Behrouz Kamalvandi, the AEOI spokesman, told the al-Alam news network in August.


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