On Tuesday, Iran accused Israel of being behind a June 23rd attack on a building belonging to Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency in Karaj, a small city located about 25 miles northwest of Tehran.
Iranian Cabinet spokesman Ali Rabiei said Israel carried out the attack in an effort to sabotage indirect talks between the US and Iran to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA. “The Zionist regime carried out these actions to signal it can stop Iran and to say that there is no need to talk with Iran,” he said. “But whenever sabotage has happened, our strength has increased.”
Israel does not officially take credit for covert attacks inside Iran, but it’s no secret who is behind them. After the Karaj building was attacked, a report from The New York Times said the facility was on a list of targets presented to the Trump administration by Israel in early 2020. The report said the building was used to produce centrifuges for Iran’s civilian nuclear program.
Iran initially downplayed the attack and said it was thwarted. But Ali Rabiei said Tuesday that some damage had been done. “A hole appeared on the ceiling of one of the industrial sheds, so the roof was removed for repairs,” he said. “Damage to equipment was not remarkable,” he added.
In April, Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility was hit with an attack that caused an explosion, which reportedly caused power outages and damaged centrifuges. The incident coincided with the start of the JCPOA talks between the US and Iran and was a clear attempt by Israel to sabotage the negotiations. So far, the US and Iran have not reached an agreement to revive the JCPOA since the Biden administration refuses to lift all Trump-era sanctions.