Emergency power system is set up in Natanz

Nuclear chief: Natanz incident is definitely a sabotage act

April 12, 2021 - 21:31

TEHRAN - Ali Akbar Salehi, chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), said on Monday that the incident at the Natanz nuclear enrichment site on Sunday morning was definitely a "sabotage" act.

 “It was definitely a sabotage," Salehi told the press in a ceremony opening the National Center for Quantum Technology at the AEOI.

 He added, “It was not an accident that happened. Security systems got involved.”

Salehi said the incident is different from the one that happened in July 2020.

Israel is considered the chief culprit for the sabotage act that targeted the electricity network of the enrichment facility.

Salehi said Israel is absolutely mistaken to get involved in efforts to hurt the Iranian nuclear industry, saying, “The enemy wants to sow despair and hopelessness in the heart of our nation, but they won’t succeed.”

“They (the enemy) say in their reports that we have postponed 9 months of nuclear activities in Natanz, but I tell you, in the next few days you will see a significant part of the sabotage committed by the enemy will be compensated.”

He stressed, “This country will not stand still and whatever they do, we will move forward with strength and power. The best kind of deterrence is to maintain vitality, morale and readiness to show the enemy that this nation is unyielding.”

Salehi pointed to the previous terrorist attack in Natanz in July 2020, saying, “Last time when they committed a vicious attack and destroyed the modern centrifuge assembly hall, we revived a significant part of that hall and today we inaugurated this hall, while we are making numerous advanced assembly halls in the heart of the mountain.”

“Of course, I must say that we have taken serious measures in terms of protection and security. Our security systems have traced back to the recent incident…, but clues have been found,” Salehi said, referring to the news about identification of the Natanz saboteur.

“Enrichment in Natanz is happening right now and has not stopped”

The top nuclear official said such moves cannot deter Iran’s advancement in nuclear industry.

 “In the nuclear industry, harassments do not stop us, and that is not merely a slogan. I was never a chanter. I believed and acted on what I said. Today, the emergency power system was set up in Natanz, and in the coming days, the main power system will be connected and the rest will go on. Enrichment in Natanz is happening right now and has not stopped.”

“The damaged machines will be restored with greater efficiency”

Salehi, a nuclear physicist, went on to say that the centrifuge machines that suffered serious damages in the Sunday sabotage act were replaced.

“Some of the machines were decommissioned due to yesterday's incident, and some need to be repaired and those that were damaged, were replaced. I have to say that whatever happened, the compensation will be much higher. We will increase the compensation by 50% after the recent incident,” the nuclear chief explained.

He said the Sunday incident will prompt more serious steps.

“The way we deal with them is the way of honor and effort, but their way is evil. Compensation for what happened is not to bring back the past, but to make up for the past in addition to other actions that will be announced later,” he said.

He added, “We will replace the damaged centrifuges with the same type, but I said that with the improvements that will increase the quality and efficiency of the centrifuges by at least 59%.”

On a question that the damaged part is the same part that was damaged in July last year, he stated, “These are two separate incidents. We revived the assembly hall and the number of assemblies of our new generation centrifuges has increased to an acceptable level, and we practically made up for what happened last year.”

On whether the damaged centrifuges were IR1, Salehi said, “They were mainly IR1, but I said that these machines that will be replaced with an efficiency of more than 50%. The enemy should understand that every harassment act it does, we will not go back, we will jump to a better situation.”

Iran informing IAEA about Natanz incident

He also said that Iran informed the IAEA about the incident on Sunday.

He then went on to discuss nuclear progresses in the future, lighting up the mood with some good news.

Salehi further announced the establishment of a pediatric nuclear medicine center in the pediatric ward of Imam Khomeini Hospital in early May.

 "This center will be established for the first time in the country and has been completed with the cooperation and support of the Atomic Energy Organization (of Iran)."

In response to some queries about the Vienna talks and whether they should be stopped in reaction to the sabotage act, he said, “Everything is in its place. Negotiations should be continued. The harassment acts of the enemy is a sign of the success of the country's peaceful nuclear activities, which served as a strong backbone for the country's negotiators. They thought that by doing so, they could undermine this support. They were thoroughly wrong. Our support has become stronger and negotiations are all in place.”

On the kind of nuclear fuel that is going to be produced for the Tehran research reactor is known worldwide, he said, “They have just entered the field of manufacturing this type of fuel in the world, which we are going to build for the Tehran reactor. The fuel is a new type of 20% fuel and our safety center takes into account safety and technical considerations.”

SA/PA

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