Satellite images showing increased activity at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility have emerged as the nation faces rising criticism about its nuclear program, particularly from the United States and Israel. The photos from Planet Labs, a San Francisco-based imaging firm, show that a new road leading to the facility has also been built.
A spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, for the first time, said that the explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility was the result of “sabotage.” On the eve of the meeting of the great powers in Vienna, the Director-General of the International Atomic Energy Agency will travel to Tehran on Monday.
Iran has been toning down its war rhetoric in recent weeks, even in the face of an increasingly hostile archenemy, Israel. The recent destruction of sites crucial to Iranian nuclear program by suspected Israeli operatives caused a stir, but the Iranian administration was keen to downplay the incidents.
It’s been more than ten days since explosions were monitored at the Natanz nuclear facility, and the speculation market is still hot. Abbas Mousavi, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, announced at a press conference that the issue of the explosion at the facility was being investigated by security officials.
Israel made an attempt to return to normalcy, but due to a great increase in daily infections, Health Minister Yudi Edelstein has called for partial lockdown. After initially crushing the outbreak, Israel, a country with approximately 9 million people, has seen a huge spike of over 1,000 news cases each day.
Israel’s Channel 12 television reported that the Mossad had thwarted several planned attacks by the Islamic Republic of Iran against Israeli embassies in Europe and elsewhere. The TV channel’s reporter said he could not reveal further details because the operation was secret.
The Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement that it had successfully launched the Horizon 16 spy satellite in the early hours of Monday morning to better control Iran’s activities. Due to new tensions with Iran, the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Aerospace Industries (IAI) announced the launch of the Hadid reconnaissance satellite into space.