Iran: fire breaks out in Natanz nuclear complex

A photo provided by the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) of a building at the Natanz nuclear site appeared to show serious fire damage.

The Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI) shared an image showing that the damaged building has a roof with fire, broken doors and blown windows.

The heat signature from the fire seems to have been caught by the NOAA-20 satellite, operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). According to the data obtained from the satellite by CNN, the fire was detected in the northwest corner of the facility on Thursday morning at 2:06 am local time.

According to the semi-official news agency Tasnim, no losses were reported at the facility in Isfahan Province, Iran, south of the capital Tehran.

The incident is under investigation, according to Press media, which told an anonymous Iranian security official that there is “no evidence” of sabotage.

According to Prime Minister Keyvan Khosravi Press TV, the country’s Supreme National Security Council said on Friday that the “main cause” of the incident has been identified and will be announced at a convenient time.

Khosravi added that Iranian experts started to investigate the “different hypotheses” related to the event immediately after the incident, adding that “due to some security issues, the reason and style of this event will be explained at the appropriate time”.

“The damage to one of the huts under construction in the Natanz complex was limited,” the Iranian security official said. Said. “Investigators couldn’t find any nuclear material in the building.”

In the international community, questions are raised about the incident that came just a week after a major explosion at the outskirts of Tehran, near the town of Parchin and a military facility.

Heat signature data from the NOAA-20 satellite indicates that when viewed in an undated satellite image, there was a fire (shown as red boxes in the picture) at the northwest corner of the complex at 2:06 am local time on July 2. .
Persian Service of the BBC report He claimed that they were behind the explosion without evidence, with a strange expression calling themselves “Homeland Cheetahs” from a previously unknown group.

Yassamine Mather, a researcher at Oxford University’s Middle East Center, told CNN the incident was “very strange”.

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Natanz governor Ramazanali Ferdowsi said that the fire only damaged a building under construction in the complex and Tasnim did not affect the main area of ​​the nuclear facility.

According to the IRNA, the incident did not disrupt the ongoing activities in the region, AEOI spokesman Behrouz Kamalvandi said.

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“AEOI expert teams have been commissioned to investigate the factors that caused the damage to the pre-fabricated steel frame,” Kamalvandi said. Said.

Press TV told the incident that the incident did not cause a “halt” to “enrichment”, mostly underground.

He also denied that the incident may have caused possible radioactive contamination. “Contrary to the wrong propaganda by the enemy and counter-revolutionary media, no contamination has occurred,” he told Press TV.

Global nuclear guard, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) says it is “aware of the reported incident” in Natanz In a Twitter post on Thursday“The agency is in contact with the relevant security authorities in Iran to verify that all security measures in Natanz can continue verification activities,” he added.

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