Iran has vowed to retaliate against any country that launches cyber attacks on its nuclear sites after a fire at its Natanz plant that some Iranian officials said could have been caused by such sabotage.
“Responding to cyber attacks is part of the country’s defence might. If it is proven that our country has been targeted by a cyberattack, we will respond,” civil defence chief Gholamreza Jalali told state TV late Thursday.
The underground Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant is one of several Iranian facilities monitored by inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN nuclear watchdog.
Iran said that the cause of the “incident” at the nuclear site had been determined, but “due to security considerations” it would be announced at another time.
Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization initially reported an “incident” had occurred early on Thursday at Natanz, located in the desert in the central province of Isfahan.
It later published a photo of a one-story brick building with its roof and walls partly burned, and a door hanging off its hinges, the image suggests that there had been an explosion inside the building.
An article issued Thursday by state news agency IRNA addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States, although it stopped short of accusing either directly.
“So far Iran has tried to prevent intensifying crises and the formation of unpredictable conditions and situations,” IRNA said, adding that there was no release of radiation from the fire.
“But the crossing of red lines of the Islamic Republic of Iran by hostile countries, especially the Zionist regime and the US, means that strategy … should be revised.”