Apr 13, 2021 05:51 UTC
  • Iran FM to UN chief: Deliberate targeting of nuclear facilities ‘is a war crime’

In a letter to the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has strongly condemned the deliberate targeting of the Islamic Republic’s safeguarded nuclear facilities as a “war crime.” 

Iran’s top diplomat made the remarks in a letter to the UN chief on Monday, a day after a reckless sabotage attack targeted the electricity distribution network of Shahid Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan nuclear facility in Natanz, which is a uranium enrichment center located in the city of the same name in Iran’s central province of Isfahan.

The attack caused a blackout and the disruption of the operations of this sensitive nuclear facility which has been under the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)’s safeguards and extensive monitoring.

Zarif said in his letter to Guterres that the timely and professional containment measures adopted by the highly dedicated management and staff of the NFEP and Iranian Atomic Energy Organization averted what could have become a human and environmental catastrophe.

“The deliberate targeting of a highly sensitive safeguarded nuclear facility—with the high risk of potential release of radioactive material—constitutes reckless criminal nuclear terrorism,” Iran’s foreign minister stressed.

Earlier on Monday and during a session of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Zarif stressed that Natanz would be stronger than before after it was reconstructed using advanced machines and that the perpetrators were wrong to think the act of sabotage would undermine Iran’s position in the nuclear negotiations.

Following the attack on Sunday, Head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Ali Akbar Salehi slammed the act of sabotage, saying the international community and the IAEA must deal with such “nuclear terrorism” that targets Iran’s facilities.

The act of sabotage came a day after Iran began feeding gas to cascades of new, advanced centrifuges and unveiled 133 achievements to mark its National Nuclear Technology Day and show the peaceful nature of its nuclear program.

Four days of talks between representatives of Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 JCPOA -- Britain, France, Germany, China, and Russia -- ended in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Friday.

The sides discussed all possible ways to revitalize the JCPOA after former US president Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the deal in 2018 and unleashed what his team called a “maximum pressure" campaign against Iran with the stated objective of forcing the country to negotiate “a better agreement.”

The US also sent a delegation to Vienna, but Iran rejected holding direct or indirect talks with the US side.