Camera online

Iran says several people arrested in connection with plot to sabotage nuclear facility

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state television reported Monday that paramilitary Revolutionary Guards arrested members of a “network” working for Israel that planned to sabotage Iran’s main underground nuclear facility at Fordo.

The television claimed that the “Zionist regime” – a Tehran reference meaning Israel – has been trying for years to strike Fordo, one of the country’s main nuclear facilities, but without success. The report does not specify how many suspects were arrested, what their nationalities were, or when and where the arrests allegedly took place. There was no immediate comment from Israel.

Iran recently blocked the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) from accessing its surveillance camera footage and resumed uranium enrichment at Fordo as Tehran’s nuclear deal with the powers collapsed and talks to return to the deal broke down. Iran, however, said it would keep the surveillance footage and turn it over to the IAEA if and when it gets sanctions relief.

The TV report said those arrested approached employees of the IR-6 section of Fordo, where centrifuges for spinning uranium are believed to be being developed, paying them in cash or cryptocurrency, and telling them how to connect with an Israeli agent, who was acting as an executive of a Hong Kong-based company.

Once the “cooperation” between an unspecified number of Fordo personnel and the operatives began, all communication was monitored by the Revolutionary Guards, which provide security for Iran’s nuclear facilities.

A truck carrying uranium hexafluoride gas leaves Ahmadi Roshan’s uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran, towards centrifuges at the Fordo nuclear facility. PHOTO: AP