DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran on Sunday described a blackout at its underground Natanz atomic facility an act of “nuclear terrorism,” raising regional tensions as world powers and Tehran continue to negotiate over its tattered nuclear deal.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, suspicion fell immediately on Israel, where its media nearly uniformly reported a devastating cyberattack orchestrated by the country caused the blackout.
If Israel was responsible, it further heightens tensions between the two nations, already engaged in a shadow conflict across the wider Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Sunday with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, has vowed to do everything in his power to stop the nuclear deal.
Details remained few about what happened early Sunday morning at the facility, which initially was described as a blackout caused by the electrical grid feeding its above-ground workshops and underground enrichment halls.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the American-educated head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, who once served as the country’s foreign minister, offered what appeared to be the harshest comments of his long career, which included the assassination of nuclear scientists a decade ago. Iran blames Israel for those killings as well.
AND THEN THERE'S THIS:
Any one of these regional conflicts is incendiary enough to ignite World War III (or, more accurately, each one is capable of transforming the cold, hybrid warfare of cyberhacks, technology thefts, financial markets manipulation, and perhaps even biological attacks that has been underway for many years into total and unrelenting global bloodshed), yet trading markets and news media are largely ignoring what’s unfolding.
It’s as if the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 1999 Kargil War between nuclear-equipped India and Pakistan, and the Soviet and Nazi Invasion of Poland were all happening concurrently, and the world decided it was too busy enforcing face mask mandates upon religious congregants and following the turmoil of Khloe Kardashian to care.