Iran Removed IAEA Cameras Damaged by Israeli Sabotage

Cameras weren't being used because of monitoring deal's expiry

In a curious aside to Israel’s sabotage attack on an Iranian site in Karaj earlier this year, Iranian nuclear chief Mohammed Eslami confirmed that some of the IAEA cameras damaged in the Israeli attack were subsequently removed, as they served no purpose and were broken at any rate.

This comes after the IAEA reported that they’d found a camera destroyed and another severely damaged at Karaj. They sent officials there to maintain the equipment, or at least what’s left of it. Iran removed some of the broken cameras, but apparently left some in place.

The expiration of monitoring agreements meant the IAEA wasn’t getting data from the cameras now anyway, which Iran is presenting as giving them effective permission to remove the broken ones. The IAEA is still hoping for a deal that can resume the monitoring, which would mean someone will have to replace those cameras, which they would’ve had to anyhow since Israel broke them.

The sabotage attacks were actually a big part of Iran dialing back its monitoring access to the IAEA, trying to convince the P5+1 to both comply with the existing JCPOA and to do something to preclude future sabotage.

With Iran and the IAEA making a deal this weekend to service the cameras, it is likely that opponents of the deal will use the revelation of removed broken cameras as some sort of technical violation to prevent improved relations.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.