- Tension: Iran issues a search and arrest warrant against Donald Trump
A mysterious fire in an alleged nuclear centrifuge assembly center last Thursday, claimed by a previously unknown dissident group; Less than a week earlier, an explosion from gas tanks in a military area in eastern Tehran, believed to be housing a facility to make missiles. In between, an explosion in a Teherani clinic that left 19 dead. The last incident was this Saturday: a fire at an Ahvaz thermal power plant in the southwest of the country.
Accidents or sabotage? As the events have happened, the public has gone from saying the first to suggesting the second. The Government has chosen caution. Following the first incident, located by external investigators in Khojir - near Parchin, where a military industrial complex - Tehran blamed it on an accidental gas leak. After the Natanz fire, the Supreme National Security Council has said it will announce its reasons "in a timely manner."
Only the case of the tragedy at the Sina Athar clinic, in the north of the Iranian capital, seems to escape this disturbing chain of events. According to the Fars agency, the police have arrested 12 people in connection with the two explosions, attributed to poor maintenance of the facilities and, in particular, of the oxygen cylinders. Iranian security forces continue their investigations. For the rest, including a chlorine leak this Saturday at a southern petrochemical company, speculation continues.
Although Iran has not targeted any actor, the media turmoil has mentioned Israel and one word: cyber attacks . "If it is proven that our country has been the target of cyber attacks, we will respond," General Gholamreza Jalali, head of the military unit in charge of fighting sabotage, warned Thursday, according to the Mizan judicial agency. The memory of Stuxnet still persists, a virus allegedly created by the US and Israel that once seriously damaged Iran's nuclear program.
Although Iran is a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the 2015 nuclear pact, Donald Trump's withdrawal from it, and what Tehran perceives as its failure by European signatories have caused the Iranian resignation of part of its commitments. One of them has been reactivating a series of centrifuges, as well as designing new ones. The International Atomic Energy Organization (IAEA) continues to certify that, despite divergences, Iran is not approaching the atomic weapon.
The IAEA said its inspectors were not in Natanz at the time of the fire, the location of which "contained no nuclear material." More mysterious, shortly before the news of the fire broke, several journalists from the BBC network received a message in which an alleged dissident organization, called The Patriotic Cheetahs, and supposedly made up of "soldiers within the regime's security apparatus," claimed an attack".
In a video, they claimed that their mission was to prevent Iran's acquisition of the nuclear weapon. A discourse very similar to that maintained by Israel and the United States, which in recent times have hoisted, as proof of Tehran's real intentions, the existence of an archive with weapons models of a nuclear program. The IAEA has confirmed that Iran "carried out activities relevant to the development of a nuclear explosive" in a program completed in 2003.
The community of analysts is unable to reach a consensus on a version of what has happened, and is debating between theories such as that of psychological warfare , in order to pressure Iran to force a hostile reaction on the eve of the US elections - which could give an accolade to Trump's re-election, having escalated-, a mere chain of tragic coincidences or, perhaps, the latest episode in an exchange of blows between Iran and Israel that, in recent times, has spread worryingly.
Many recall that Stuxnet, as well as other acts of sabotage attributed to the Israelis, targeted strictly military facilities and personnel, to which must be added four assassinated Iranian nuclear scientists, believed to be by agents under Israeli orders, between 2010 and 2012. The latest attacks, however, have also targeted purely civilian targets . This could be the case of the burning electrical installations in Ahvaz, which affected a transformer and caused blackouts in the surrounding areas. The same day's chlorine leak in Mahshahr affected about 70 workers, according to local IRNA agency.
Two months ago, Israeli media blamed Iranian computer scientists for launching a computer attack on a series of hydraulic infrastructures in a rural area. At least two centers of the Water Authority suffered alterations in their flow control, purification and purification systems, which, if not repelled in time, could have contaminated water for domestic consumption.
In response, it is believed, the Shahid Rajaee port of the Iranian province of Hormozgan began to experience a series of maritime traffic control problems in May. The manager of the Iranian Maritime and Port Organization, Mohammad Rastad, recognized a "cyberattack", although he did not point to any perpetrator. In a trend maintained throughout these months, neither Iran nor Israel have publicly pointed out the opponent, beyond their usual speeches, for the incidents that have occurred.
This time, again, the Israelis have chosen to play clueless. In a radio interview this Sunday, when asked about the latest events on Iranian soil, the head of the Hebrew Defense, Benny Gantz, replied: "Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has to do with us." "All of these systems are complex, they have very high security protocols and I'm not sure if they always know how to maintain them," he added.
According to Reuters, citing Iranian official sources on condition of anonymity, three of them considered the Natanz attack an act of cyber-sabotage. Two of them considered that Israel could be behind, although they did not provide conclusive evidence. Meanwhile, Tehran, which has reported no human losses in the Khojir, Natanz and Ahvaz incidents, mourns the dead at the city clinic and praises the heroes who risked their lives to rescue the survivors.
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