Asia

Reza Karimi attacked nuclear plant in Natanz, Iran?

Reza Karimi (©Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting)
Reza Karimi (©Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting)

Reza Karimi, 43, is reportedly wanted by the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL), which is based in Lyon, France. He is accused of attacking the nuclear facility in Natanz, Isfahan, Iran.

According to the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), Karimi was born in Kashan, Iran. He allegedly had fled the country before the explosion and power outage at the country’s main nuclear plant in Natanz on April 11, 2021.

Initially, the attack was described as merely a blackout in the electrical grid of the facility. Later, however, Iranian officials started calling it a terroristic attack while blaming Israel.

Kazimi has travelled to different countries including Ethiopia, Kenya, the Netherlands, Qatar, Romania, Turkey, Uganda and the United Arab Emirates, IRIB reported. No cyberattack was found and the explosive materials’ function caused a limited explosion of a small part of the electricity-feeding path to the centrifuges’ hall, the Iranian state-controlled television claimed.

It is unclear where exactly Kazimi is right now but necessary actions are reportedly being taken to legally bring him back to Iran and arrest him. INTERPOL has yet to confirmed whether or not he is on its wanted list.

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Natanz is the capital city of Natanz County, Isfahan Province. The city is located 70 km southeast of Kashan.

The nuclear facility in Natanz is part of the nuclear program of Iran. In July 2004, enrichment of uranium at the plant was stopped amid negotiations with European countries.

In September 2007, the government of Iran announced that 3,000 centrifuges had been installed at Natanz. On July 14, 2015, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear treaty, also known as the Iran nuclear deal, was reached in Vienna, Austria between Iran and China, France, Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Union.

The deal was violated when Iran resumed enriching uranium at the Natanz nuclear facility with a third set of advanced nuclear centrifuges in March 2021. On April 10, 2021, the country started began injecting uranium hexaflouride gas into advanced IR-6 and IR- 5 centrifuges at the facility.

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