[QODLink]
Middle East

Iran 'thwarts nuclear sabotage attempts'

Official at Iranian atomic authority says plots uncovered, including one against unfinished Arak heavy water reactor.

Last updated: 15 Mar 2014 14:54
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Western powers say the Arak facility could be used to make plutonium for weapons [AP]

Iran has claimed it has thwarted a number of sabotage attempts against the country's nulcear programme and infrastructure, including one at its heavy water reactor.

Asghar Zarean, a senior official in charge of nuclear security at the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran, said that Iran's intelligence agencies were instrumental in uncovering plots over the last few months.

They included one at the Arak facility, according to a report from the Fars semi-official news agency quoted by the Associated Press. 

The organisation said: "Several cases of industrial sabotage have been neutralized in the past few months before achieving the intended damage, including sabotage at a part of the IR-40 facility at Arak."

It did not state the nature of the attacks, nor the suspected culprits, but the statements coincided with the launch of an intelligence team to fight cyber-attacks and industrial sabotage.

Another of Iran's nuclear facilities, the uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, was the target of the "Stuxnet" computer virus in 2010 which temporarily disrupted operation of centrifuges, a key component in nuclear fuel production.

Tehran says Stuxnet and other computer virus attacks are part of a concerted campaign by Israel, the US and their allies to undermine its nuclear programme.

Arak was central to a deal cut last year between Western powers and Iran that lifted some sanctions in return for concessions on Iran's nuclear programme.

Tehran pledged it would stop developing the facility, which Western powers say could yield plutonium as an alternative fuel for weapons. Iran denies any such goal, and says the facility is for research and peaceful purposes only.

256

Source:
AP
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Tokyo government claims its homeless population has hit a record low, but analysts - and the homeless - beg to differ.
3D printers can cheaply construct homes and could soon be deployed to help victims of catastrophe rebuild their lives.
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
Featured
Booming global trade in 50-million-year-old amber stones is lucrative, controversial, and extremely dangerous.
Legendary Native-American High Bird was trained in ancient warrior traditions, which he employed in World War II.
Hounded opposition figure says he's hoping for the best at sodomy appeal but prepared to return to prison.
Fears of rising Islamophobia and racial profiling after two soldiers killed in separate incidents.
Group's culture of summary justice is back in Northern Ireland's spotlight after new sexual assault accusations.