Fereydoon Abbasi, chairman of the Majles Energy Committee and former chief of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran said that the recent explosion in the Natanz nuclear facility was caused by a sabotaged electricity hub. He made these remarks in an interview that aired on channel 3 (Iran) on April 12, 2021, one day after the explosion. Abbasi said that it was the electricity distribution system, supplying electricity to the centrifuge assembly hall 40-50 meters underground that was targeted along with the batteries that were supposed to maintain electric supply in case of a power outage. Abbasi complimented "the enemy" on their "brilliant" plan, saying it was well-thought out.
Regarding the July 2020 explosion at the facility, he said that the explosives that had caused the blast were planted in a heavy table on which the centrifuges were balanced. He said that given the way in which the explosives were planted, it would have been impossible to detect them with an ordinary x-ray scan. Abbasi lamented that the enemy recruits people who are weak and do not believe in patriotic identity to carry out sabotage operations against Iran. For more about Fereydoon Abbasi, see MEMRI TV clip no. 8494.
Fereydoon Abbasi: "Some people are weak and do not believe in patriotic identity. The enemy recruits them and they carry out sabotage operations. With regard to the recent incident... We have another serious incident last year. It was a heavy instrument..."
Interviewer: "It was in July..."
Abbasi: "Yes. They planted explosives [in a table]. This constituted negligence by officials responsible for checking all the equipment that enters our facilities and neutralizing any [threat]. Clearly, they did not do their job. They thought that the table was heavy because it was made of one block. They should have..."
Interviewer: "X-rayed it, but they didn't..."
Abbasi: "I don't know if they did or not. Perhaps the [table] was thick, and they should have used high-energy x-ray, because regular x-rays cannot penetrate it. Perhaps the explosives were planted inside the [table] and then it was sealed. Perhaps they poured resin or welded the metal. I don't have all the details about that [table]. It was a table used for balancing [centrifuges] so it had to be heavy. That's where they hit us, so we could not balance our centrifuges."
Interviewer: "What about the recent sabotage? Do we know its scope? I did not see it with my own eyes. My information is from eight years ago when I was there, and from what I heard from experts in the past two days.
This is the thing: we have an electricity hub in the Natanz site, and from it, the electricity goes from 40-50 meters underground. It was planned to be very resistant so that airstrikes or missile attacks could not destroy it. When the enemy sees that this is the situation, it launches cyber attacks or sabotage operations using people or by sabotaging equipment. In addition, the enemy is very patient. It may send you faulty equipment for 5-10 years so you would use it over time. In this case, the electricity distribution systems were targeted, along with a cable that arrives from elsewhere, and connects to the batters that are used if there is a power outage.
The enemy's planning was brilliant. I'm saying this from a scientific approach. They put a lot of thought into this, used their experts, and the explosion damaged both the electricity distribution system and the cable that comes from the batteries because the electricity that reaches the centrifuges must never stop."