Israeli private intelligence group The Intel Lab on Saturday released satellite photos of what it says was damage from a reported drone attack on an Iranian nuclear facility last month.
Iran claimed to have foiled the June 23 attack on the Karaj site, but Israeli media reported that the facility – which was allegedly used to assemble centrifuges for uranium enrichment – was damaged during typing.
The drone attack reportedly hit the Iran Centrifuge Technology Company, or TESA, in the town of Karaj, northwest of Tehran. The TESA plant has been tasked with replacing damaged centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear site and is also producing more advanced centrifuges that can enrich uranium faster, according to a New York Times report last month.
Iran has not identified who it believes was responsible for the drone strike. The country has accused Israel of similar attacks on its nuclear program in the past.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett appeared to allude to Israel’s role during a speech at a graduation ceremony for Israeli Air Force pilots a day after the strike. “Our enemies know – not by statements, but by actions – that we are much more determined and much smarter, and that we do not hesitate to act when necessary,” Bennett said in his speech at the base. Aerial of Hatzerim of the IAF, outside of Beer Sheva.
A small quadcopter drone was used in the attack on TESA, according to the New York Times report, citing an unidentified Iranian source. The drone was apparently launched from inside Iran, not far from the site, and succeeded in hitting the target, according to the Iranian source close to the incident, according to the report. However, the source was not sure if it caused any damage.
According to Nournews, June 24, 2021 “The security forces succeeded in thwarting an act of sabotage against one of the buildings of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) in Karaj, in the province of Alborz” . Satellite image of July 1 tells a different story. # Iran #Nuclear #JCPOA pic.twitter.com/QTAqTml4HT
– The Intel lab (@TheIntelLab) July 3, 2021
The centrifuge production site was on a target list that Israel presented to the Trump administration last year, at the same time as it suggested striking Iran’s uranium enrichment site at Natanz and assassinate Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a scientist who launched the country’s military nuclear program for decades. earlier, an intelligence source told the New York Times.
Fakhrizadeh was killed in November 2020 in an attack Iran blamed on Israel, while a mysterious explosion damaged a large number of centrifuges at the Natanz plant in April 2021. The former head of the agency Mossad spy recently indicated in an interview given after leaving office that Israel was behind the incident.
While Iran maintains that the Karaj facility is used for civilian purposes, it has been subject to United Nations, European Union and United States sanctions since at least 2007 for its involvement in the programs. nuclear and ballistics of Iran. The United States lifted those sanctions as part of the 2015 nuclear deal, but then reimposed them in 2018 when Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal.