An accident caused by the electrical power problem at Natanz underground nuclear facility in Iran on Sunday, a state-controlled media channel reported. The development comes a day after Tehran launched a new advanced centrifuge for uranium enrichment on the site.
“The incident did not cause victims or contamination,” said the spokesman for Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Behrouz Kamalvandi, adding that “electricity was affected at Natanz facilities”, located in the desert in the province of Isfahan.
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The Natanz Underground site is the center of the Iranian uranium enrichment program and is monitored by International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors, the UN’s nuclear watchdog. “The cause of this incident was being investigated,” Kamalvandi told Iran’s official news agency.
A fire broke out in Natanz facilities in July last year, which the government said was an effort to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program. In 2010, the Stuxnet computer virus, widely believed to have been developed by the United States and Israel, was found after it was used to attack Natanz.
Tehran and Washington have been trying to revive Iran’s nuclear agreement with great strength after former American President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the pact three years ago. Trump reimposed crippling economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic and brought many more.
Reacting to the US sanctions, Iran started breaching its commitments under the historic nuclear pact brokered by the Obama administration. The two countries set a complex attitude in Vienna’s indirect talks last week about how to bring them back to complete compliance with the agreement.
President Hassan Rouhani reiterated Iran’s commitment to nuclear non-proliferation on Saturday while overseeing the sophisticated centrifugal launch at the Natanz plant to mark the country’s national nuclear technology day.