Israeli Cyberattack Caused Fire at Iran Nuclear Site

Israeli planes reportedly attacked missile site in Parchin

Thursday’s fire at Iran’s Natanz enrichment site, previously claimed by a secretive group called Cheetahs of the Homeland, is now being reported as a cyberattack by Israel. Reports also suggest that a recent explosion at a missile factory was the result of an Israeli airstrike.

As always with Iran and Israel, confirmation is all but impossible to come by. Israel isn’t saying anything officially, and Iran has said they will say what happened at a time of their choosing in the future.

Iran says that they have already determined what happened, however, and are threatening retaliation over the matter. This likely suggests they aren’t taking the Cheetahs as a likely culprit.

But that still raises questions, as the Cheetahs issued an email to the BBC taking credit before the attack was even announced. The group, whoever they are, may have served as a flimsy cover for the cyberattack.

Iran’s threat to retaliate, without publicly blaming Israel, probably means no specific plans are in place. Talk of retaliation in the future is a common way to get around not doing anything near-term.

Reducing the pressure to do something is that the cyberattack did only minor damage, causing a fire in a shed. Iran says no casualties were reported, and there was no risk of radioactive release.


Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of