Apr 17, 2021 16:53 UTC
  • Iran Intelligence Ministry identifies culprit behind Natanz sabotage act; says he fled country before attack

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has identified the culprit behind the recent act of sabotage at its Natanz nuclear facility, saying he had fled the country before the act.

The Natanz nuclear site was hit by an attack on Sunday which Iran called “nuclear terrorism” and a “war crime”. The attack, which Iran blamed on Israel, targeted the electricity distribution network of the Natanz enrichment facility and caused a blackout.

On Saturday, the Intelligence Ministry said the man behind the act of sabotage was identified by the ministry's forces as Reza Karimi.

Aged 43, Karimi had fled the country before the incident, the ministry said, adding that Tehran is taking legal actions at the international level to have him arrested and returned to Iran.

The picture was released days after a security source said the key individual responsible for the incident has been identified.

“Necessary measures are being taken to arrest the main element behind the disruption in the power system of Natanz complex,” Nour News on Monday quoted the source as saying.

Following the Natanz attack, Iran notified the International Atomic Energy Agency of a plan to start 60-percent uranium enrichment, which has different applications, one of which is for the production of radiopharmaceuticals.

On Friday, Tehran announced that its first batch of 60-percent enriched uranium was ready at the Natanz nuclear facility.

The developments coincide with high-profile talks in Austria’s capital, Vienna, to restore the Iran nuclear deal of 2015, which was savagely attacked by former US President Donald Trump, who withdrew from the pact in 2018.