Spokesman for Iran’s UN Mission Alireza Miryousefi responded to a Bloomberg opinion column written by Eli Lake titled, “Sabotage in Iran Is Preferable to a Deal with Iran”.
In his response, Miryousefi said the column is “one that, against all journalistic standards, encourages violence, terror and sabotage, and makes a number of factual errors and assumptions.”
“Praising the illegal assassination of nuclear scientists and encouraging sabotage in Iran’s infrastructures amounts to what are inhumane, barbaric acts that promote violence and terrorism. Such measures do nothing less than keeping tensions high, and could ignite a full range escalation,” he noted.
Lake’s article argued that recent incidents in Iran, including the one at Natanz nuclear facility, showed that there were better ways to frustrate what it called the “nuclear ambitions” of the Islamic Republic.
The Bloomberg article further claimed that one of the recent incidents in Iran seems to have targeted “an underground research facility for chemical weapons.”
Iran’s UN Mission spokesman refuted the claim, saying the country has been “the biggest victim of chemical weapons in contemporary history” conducted by the Iraqi dictator Saddam with “the shameful aid of Western countries”.
“Iran has no program or plans to produce chemical weapons, and the claim made in the opinion piece is not just bizarre, but completely fallacious,” he emphasized.
Lake, born in Philadelphia to a Jewish family, is a columnist for the Bloomberg View. He is known for his controversial articles about security issues. His critics say his past sources lacked credibility, "used to manipulate the discourse on national security".
In relevant remarks on July 13, Spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) Behrouz Kamalvandi said that his country will show a smart reaction to the recent blast at Natanz nuclear facility if it is proven that foreigners were involved in the incident.
“There is no doubt that the honorable Iran will adopt its measures based on the country’s interests. The strategic and inviolable policy of the Islamic Republic in different cases and positions is a smart and wise reaction based on the three principles of honor, wisdom and expediency,” Kamalvandi wrote in the Persian-language Etemad newspaper on Monday July 13.
He also blasted the Western and Zionist media for not condemning the blast while claiming that the incident has happened as a result of an attack or act of sabotage.
“Such positions by the media and western officials is a double-standard behavior and unacceptable,” Kamalvandi said.
His remarks came after an incident at Natanz nuclear facility on June 2. Kamalvandi said on the same day that the incident which occurred at the country's Natanz nuclear facility caused no major damage and the site is operating as usual.
Kamalvandi said that an incident occurred in one of the under-construction sheds in Natanz nuclear facility.
One of the under-construction sheds in the open area of Natanz nuclear facility was damaged this morning and investigation into the case is underway, he added.
This incident did not have any casualties and has not inflicted any damage on the current activities of the facility either, Kamalvandi stated, noting that since this nuclear facility has been inactive, there is no worry about the possibility of contamination.
Presently, the Organization’s expert teams are at the scene of incident and are investigating the causes behind the incident, Kamlvandi added.
The Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant, covering 100,000 square meters and built eight meters underground, is one of several Iranian facilities monitored by the UN nuclear watchdog.
Earlier, Spokesman of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Keyvan Khosravi said that the cause of the incident at Natanz nuclear facility has been found, but will not be declared now for security reasons.
Experts from different organizations attended the facility since the early hours of the incident and determined the main cause of the incident, but it will be announced later, Khosravi said, and added that there were no nuclear materials in the place, and the issue of leakage of radioactive material has been rejected.
Also, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi had said that Tehran would show severe reaction if it is proven that foreigners were involved in the incident.
“It is still too early to make any judgment on the main cause of the blast [in Natanz], and relevant security bodies are probing into every detail of the incident,” Mousavi said.
If Iran concludes that foreign elements were involved, it will be announced, and there will be repercussions, he added.
Mousavi pointed to the media hype over Israel’s role in the blast, and said such reports are aimed at portraying the “hollow” Israeli regime as powerful.