Fereydoon Abbasi

The head of Iran’s Atomic Agency told an audience in Vienna that “terrorists and saboteurs” may have infiltrated the International Atomic Energy Agency, claiming that a number of sabotage operations have taken aim at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

At the 56th general conference of the United Nation’s nuclear watchdog, Fereydoon Abbasi Davani said: “It is possible that terrorists and saboteurs have infiltrated the agency and are covertly influencing its decision-making. We need to inform the head of the agency and his colleagues about this matter and give them the necessary warnings.”

He added that an explosion at power lines leading to the Fordo nuclear plant near the city of Qom cut electricity to the site on August 17, 2012. He stressed that cutting off electrical power is a way of harming the centrifuges in this plant.

He went on to say: “In the first hours of the following day, IAEA inspectors asked to inspect this site. Isn’t this inspection connected to the explosion? Who can access the site in such a short notice other than agency inspectors in order to record and report the damages?”

Abbasi Davani also referred to another attack on the Natanz nuclear site but did not offer any details.

The head of Iran’s nuclear agency accused the UN nuclear watchdog of taking the information it gathers about Iran’s nuclear program and making it available to saboteurs and terrorists.

Abbasi Davani stressed that in May, he told the IAEA chief and his deputies to refrain from passing on the results of some of their inspections, as it could threaten the security of these plants.

Last year, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accused the IAEA of publicizing the identities of Iranian nuclear scientists and, thereby, making them targets of terrorist attacks. So far, three Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed in assassination attempts that Iran attributes to covert Israeli operations.

Abbasi Davani himself was the target of such an assassination attempt but managed to survive it.

He maintained that the terrorist operations against Iran’s nuclear program in all their forms, including cyber attacks, industrial sabotage and the use of explosives, have been unsuccessful, adding that Iranian experts have also managed to find ways of “protecting the nuclear facilities even in the case of aerial attacks.”

Abbasi Davani expressed concern over the IAEA’s indifference toward the emergence of nuclear terrorism and once again stressed that Iran’s nuclear program is peaceful, adding that the new centrifuges were also part of these peaceful activities.

The statement by Iran’s atomic agency chief comes days after the IAEA passed a resolution expressing serious concern over Iran’s nuclear program; however, Yukiya Amano has announced that his agency is committed to resolving the nuclear disputes with Iran through more talks.