Iran Closed Nuclear Facilities In Wake Of Israel Attack – IAEA Chief

The chief of the UN’s nuclear watchdog said Monday that Iran temporarily halted its nuclear facilities due to “security considerations” following its huge missile and drone attack on Israel over the weekend.

Speaking to press on the margins of a UN Security Council meeting, International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) chief Rafael Grossi was asked if he was concerned about Israel striking an Iranian nuclear plant in retribution for the attack.

“We’re constantly concerned about this potential. What I can tell you is that the Iranian government advised our inspectors in Iran yesterday (Sunday) that all nuclear sites that we monitor on a daily basis would stay closed for security reasons,” he said.

Grossi said the facilities will reopen on Monday, but inspectors would not return until the next day.

“I decided not to let the inspectors return until we see that the situation is completely calm,” he continued, urging “extreme restraint”.

Iran launched almost 300 drones and missiles at Israel overnight on Saturday and Sunday in response for an air assault on a consulate facility in Damascus that killed seven Revolutionary Guards members, two of whom were generals.

Israel and its allies shot down the great bulk of the weaponry, and the strike did relatively minimal damage, but predictions of an Israeli retaliation have fueled fears of a full-fledged regional conflict.

Israel has previously carried military operations against regional nuclear installations.

Despite resistance from Washington, it destroyed Saddam Hussein’s Iraqi nuclear plant at Osirak in 1981. In 2018, it admits to launching a top-secret air strike on a Syrian reactor 11 years ago.

Tehran accuses Israel of assassinating two Iranian nuclear physicists in 2010 and kidnapping another the year before.

Also in 2010, a sophisticated cyberattack employing the Stuxnet virus, which Tehran blamed on Israel and the United States, caused a series of malfunctions in Iranian uranium enrichment centrifuges.

Israel accuses Iran of wanting to acquire an atomic bomb, which Tehran rejects.

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