Iran Claims IAEA Cameras at Atomic Site May Have Been Hacked
(Bloomberg) -- Iran claimed that international surveillance gear mounted at a sensitive nuclear facility may have been hacked by saboteurs ahead of their attack in June.
The assertion by Iran’s ambassador to the U.K., Mohsen Baharvand, may shed some light on why the Islamic Republic continues to stonewall International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors looking to reinstall cameras at a centrifuge workshop in Karaj.
The facility, located northwest of Tehran, was shaken by a mysterious blast in June that destroyed monitoring equipment.
“There was a sabotage there by Israel and some cameras were damaged and there was some investigation going on,” Iran’s envoy said during a briefing in London on Friday, adding that Iranian judiciary investigators looked into whether the cameras may have been used to aid the attack. “We just asked IAEA to wait for a time for that investigation to be over.”
A spokesman from Israel’s Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declined to comment on the allegation of Israeli involvement. The IAEA didn’t respond to calls and emails requesting comment.
IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi has signaled his rising concern over Iran’s refusal to allow new cameras to be installed at Karaj, with some countries suggesting Tehran could face diplomatic censure if inspectors aren’t allowed back in soon.
“We are close to the point when I would not be able to guarantee continuity of knowledge,” Grossi said last month. IAEA monitors received special dispensation under the 2015 deal between Iran and world powers to monitor the manufacture of the centrifuges, the fast-spinning machines that separate uranium isotopes.
Diplomats are negotiating in Vienna this week to try to resurrect the agreement, which began falling apart after then-President Donald Trump reimposed U.S. sanctions and Iran retaliated by raising its nuclear activities.
Iran’s nuclear program has been subject of sabotage for more than a decade. The Stuxnet computer virus that was unleashed a decade ago against Iran’s enrichment program was attributed to both Israel and the U.S.
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