‘Eye for an eye’: Iran editorial urges retaliatory attack on Dimona reactor

An Iranian newspaper affiliated with the country’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei published an editorial on Saturday calling on the government to close the Israeli nuclear facility in Dimona in response to the recent attack on the Islamic Republic’s Natanz nuclear site, the widely attributed to attacking Israel.

The prominent regional analyst Saadullah Zarai wrote in the ultra-conservative daily Kahyan about the reaction of the Iranian government after the sabotage operation on April 11th in Natanz.

Iran has since begun enriching a small amount of uranium to up to 60 percent purity – the highest level ever and only a short step away from weapon quality – in an open violation of the 2015 nuclear deal.

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“Unfortunately, the President announced that Iran will install more advanced centrifuges in the damaged facility and increase uranium enrichment to 60 percent [Hassan Rouhani] effectively announced that Iran will not respond proportionally to the attack at all, ”wrote Zarai.

“It is the clear position of this author that the appropriate response to the Natanz incident – based on [the concept of] An eye for an eye and based on the policy of creating a security deterrent – should take action against that [Israeli] Nuclear plant in Dimona. This is because no other action is on the same level as the Natanz incident, ”he added.

Israel has never recognized that it has a nuclear arsenal but has maintained a policy of “nuclear ambiguity” while vowing that it will not be the first country to use nuclear weapons in the Middle East. The nuclear research facility in Dimona is officially called the Shimon Peres Negev Nuclear Research Center.

File: Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran (AP Photo / Hasan Sarbakhshian)

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif embarked on major construction work at the Dimona site earlier this year as his country prepared to restrict access by the United Nations International Atomic Energy Agency amid tensions with the West over the collapse of the 2015 nuclear deal. “Israel is expanding Dimona, the region’s only atomic bomb factory,” he wrote.

“Any conversation about concerns about the Iranian nuclear program is absolute nonsense,” Zarif told the English-language Arm Press TV of Iranian state television. “Let’s get that straight: it’s hypocrisy.”

Journalists wait in front of the Grand Hotel Vienna, where nuclear talks with Iran will take place in camera on Tuesday, April 6, 2021, in Vienna, Austria. (AP / Florian Schroetter)

Also on Saturday, Iranian state television named a suspect, Riza Karimi, in the attack on Natanz and said he had fled the country.

A passport photo published by Iranian state television shows Reza Karimi (43), who, according to Tehran, was behind the sabotage in Natanz on April 11 and blamed Israel (video screenshot).

In Vienna, negotiations between Iran and world powers continued on Saturday, with some progress being reported.

A senior Iranian official admitted Tuesday that the explosion at the Natanz nuclear power plant, which Tehran accuses Israel of, destroyed or damaged thousands of centrifuges used to enrich uranium.

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