On April 16, the Ministry of Intelligence of Iran identified the man behind the recent sabotage act at the Natanz fuel enrichment plant (FEP), which was reportedly plotted by the Israeli intelligence.
“Reza Karimi, the perpetrator of this sabotage… has been identified” by the Iranian intelligence, the state TV announced. “Necessary steps are underway for his arrest and return to the country through legal channels.”
According to the TV, the suspect fled Iran before the April 11 explosion at the Natanz EFP. It remains unclear if the man was an employee at the plant.
The Ministry of Intelligence shared a photograph of the suspect on a red card that had “Interpol Wanted” written on it. On the card, Karimi’s age was listed as 43.
According to Iranian state media, Reza Karimi is the man involved in the Natanz attack and he succeeded in fleeing the country before it took place. The report shows a picture of the suspect and new footage from inside the nuclear facility. pic.twitter.com/wyV0SbeMFE
— Ali Hashem علي هاشم (@alihashem_tv) April 17, 2021
While some sources reported that the incident at Natanz was caused by a cyber-attack, others said that a deliberately planned explosion destroyed the independent internal power system of the plant.
All the centrifuges damaged as a result of the sabotage act had been replaced, according to the state TV. Furthermore, a large number of centrifuges whose enrichment activity was disrupted by the explosion had been returned to normal service.
Iran responded to the sabotage act by launching a plan to enhance uranium up to 60%. The first batch of 60% enriched uranium was produced on April 17.
The sabotage act at Natanz EFP was widely seen as an attempt by Israel to hinder the ongoing talks between Iran and the US in Vienna. The two countries are discussing a possible return by the US to the 2015 nuclear deal.
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