(RoyalPatriot.com )- Israel seems to have finally taken action against Iran, in their long-standing dispute.
Over the weekend, an explosion happened at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility. That either damaged or destroyed thousands of centrifuges that Iran was using to enrich uranium.
In the days following the explosion, theories about what happened swirled around. On Tuesday, a senior official with Iran confirmed the damage. Iran has blamed the explosion on Israel.
In an interview with state TV, the head of the Iranian parliament’s research center, Alireza Zakani, said there were “several thousand centrifuges damaged or destroyed” in the blast.
Iran was in the process of ramping up its enrichment or uranium to 60%. They were working on getting close to the 90% purity of uranium that would make it work for military use and also shortening the potential “breakout time” for a bomb.
Following the attack on Sunday, reports from Israel said that Iran would have a lot of trouble enriching much uranium to 60% since the Natanz facility was still not in commission. Alon Ben David, an analyst for Israel’s Channel 13, said while officials in Iran wanted to start the process for higher enrichment, they wouldn’t be able to do it at that facility, since its 6,000 centrifuges are “out of action.”
The country’s only other option was its Fordo nuclear facility, according to David, who said that plant can only enrich uranium to 60% in very small quantities. That facility has only 1,000 centrifuges. As a result, David said a threat of greater enrichment isn’t much of a threat from Iran for now.
Initially, the explosion at Natanz was described as a blackout in the electrical grid that was feeding workshops above ground and enrichment halls underground. Later, though, Iranian officials confirmed that an attack had taken place.
On Monday, Iran confirmed the blast at the site took out the main electrical power system as the plant, as well as the backup for it.
The head of the Iranian parliament’s energy committee, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani, said:
“From a technical standpoint, the enemy’s plan was rather beautiful. They thought about this and used their experts and planned the explosion so both the central power and the emergency power cable would be damaged.”
Officials from both the U.S. and Israel said recently that the blast would set back Iran’s plans for uranium enrichment by as much as six to nine months.
A New York Times report said a bomb caused the blast at the plant. That bomb was smuggled into the facility apparently and then detonated from a remote location. The Times reported cited an intelligence official who was unnamed.
As is typically the case, Iran tried to downplay the damage at the facility. On Monday, Ali Akbar Salehi, the head of the Atomic Energy Organization in Iran, said power was already restored at the plant and that uranium enrichment was ongoing.
He told media sources in Iran:
“A large portion of the enemy’s sabotage can be restored, and this train cannot be stopped.”
Whether that’s true or not is tough to discern. But, Iran is known for building themselves up falsely while downplaying negative things about themselves.