Primary purpose of Natanz attack was to retard enrichment

TEHRAN, Apr. 14 (MNA) – An Associate Fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies believes that the primary purpose of the attack was to retard Iran's enrichment program.

Mark Fitzpatrick, who was Executive Director of the IISS Americas office and head of the Non-Proliferation and Nuclear Policy Programme untile 2019, in an interview with Mehr News Agency said “Israel decided to take matters into its own hands by employing kinetic means to slow Iran's nuclear progress.”

Here is the full text of the interview:

As you know in Natanz, a nuclear facility in Iran was hit by "sabotage" a day after it unveiled new uranium enrichment equipment and Israeli public media, however, cited intelligence sources who said it was the result of an Israeli cyber-attack, so why did Israel do this attack? 

Israel does not trust diplomacy to resolve the stop Iran's acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability and thus apparently decided to take matters into its own hands by employing kinetic means to slow Iran's nuclear progress.

Some experts believe that Israel did this attack in coordination with the United State, what do you think about this view?

The United States certainly had nothing to do with the attack, neither coordinating it nor giving Israel a green light to carry it out. At a time when the Biden Administration is making a concerted push for a "compliance for compliance" restoration of the JCPOA, it would be wholly counterproductive to risk diplomatic success by helping an attack. The United States was not involved, of that I am sure.

Is the attack related to the new round of JCPOA talks? 

I believe the primary purpose of the attack was to retard Iran's enrichment program. Whether it was also intended to sabotage diplomacy is hard to say. In any case, I do not think that Iran would take the bait and stop negotiations. It is very much in Iran's interests to benefit from a lifting of sanctions that would come with a revival of the nuclear deal.

Is it possible for IAEA to prevent attacks such as the attack in Natanz?

The IAEA has no role or ability to stop such attacks. The UN Security Council is the only international body that is empowered to take action. I do not see this happening, however. One reason is that the damage was not so severe: there were no human causalities and no environmental impact. Another reason is that Israel's presumed role remains unproven. And the United States will not want to see Israel punished.

 Interview by Hamid Bayati

News Code 172097

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