Sabotage or bad luck? Iran has been suffering a chain of catastrophes in 2020. Another three mysterious explosions at the Iranian Natanz nuclear facility in Iran has led to many questions. A former official suggested the incident could have been an attempt to sabotage work at the plant, which has been involved in activities that breach an international nuclear deal.
In early July Israeli F-35 stealth fighter jets bombed a site located in the area of Parchin, which is believed to house a missile production complex — an area of particular concern for the Jewish state, in light of the large number and increasing sophistication of missiles and rockets in the arsenals of Iranian proxies, notably Lebanon’s Hezbollah. Fighter jets from the IAF’s second F-35 squadron, the Lions of the South, flew over southern Israel (IDF spokesperson) Neither of these claims was confirmed by Israeli officials, who have been mum on the reports. TBW
Nineteen people were killed in an explosion at a medical clinic in the north of the capital Tehran, which an official said was caused by a gas leak. On June 26, an explosion occurred east of Tehran near the Parchin military and weapons development base that the authorities said was caused by a leak in a gas storage facility in an area outside the base.
The reported Israeli strikes followed an alleged Iranian attempt to hack into Israel’s water infrastructure in April, an effort that was thwarted by Israeli cyber defences, but if successful could have introduced dangerous levels of chlorine into the Israeli water supply and otherwise seriously interrupted the flow of water throughout the country according to the Times of Israel.
Security sources have said that Iran would retaliate if it becomes clear that Israel, or the United States, have been behind any attempt targeting Iran’s nuclear sites. A Saturday article by Nour News said media reports crediting Israel for an alleged cyber attack targeting Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility mean that the regime itself would be posed to similar threats. The article, which had no byline, said the international community should be more concerned about cyber sabotage attempts targeting Iran’s nuclear facilities as they could lead to nuclear leaks with environmental ramifications of unknown magnitude. It added, however, that despite Israel’s policy of keeping silent on sabotage acts targeting Iran’s nuclear sites, such moves are ultimately attributed to the regime given its long records of hostility towards Iran and its peaceful nuclear activities. The article by Nour News said Israel should await serious consequences if it crosses Iran’s "red lines." PressTV
“Cheetahs of the Homeland”
In a further twist, an online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for the fire that analysts say damaged the centrifuge assembly plant at Iran’s underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery around the incident — even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to “security reasons.” The multiple, different claims by a self-described group called the “Cheetahs of the Homeland” included language used by several exiled Iranian opposition organizations.
The Plagues Of Iran 2020
It has been a lousy year for the Iranian government so far and it has just gotten a whole lot worse. Just three days into 2020, Major General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the second-in-command of Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), were killed in US airstrikes in the Iraqi capital Baghdad.
Iran's administration called the attack an act of international terrorism and vowed an act of ‘vigorous revenge,’ however, the vigorous revenge went drastically wrong when a Ukrainian 737 with 170 people on board was shot down by nervous Iranian defences in the aftermath of the attacks. The strikes were codenamed Operation Martyr Soleimani - in retaliation for the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in a US air raid last week. The Iranian administration then spread misinformation following the crash of a Ukrainian passenger plane near, claiming the 737 had crashed due to engine failure which caused anti-government protests which resulted in the deaths of many innocent Iranian people.