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Israeli analyst urges taking with grain of salt Iranian report on suspect identified in Natanz attack

A passport-style photo published by Iranian state television shows Reza Karimi, 43, whom Tehran says was behind the sabotage at Natanz on April 11 that it has blamed on Israel (video screenshot)
A passport-style photo published by Iranian state television shows Reza Karimi, 43, whom Tehran says was behind the sabotage at Natanz on April 11 that it has blamed on Israel (video screenshot)

Raz Zimmt, an expert on Iran at the Institute for National Security Studies urges taking reports from Iran state TV that Tehran named a suspect in last week’s attack at its Natanz nuclear site.

“There is no doubt that some of the reason behind the report is to address internal criticism regarding security malfunctions that enabled the sabotage of Natanz,” Zimmt tells Army Radio.

State television named the suspect as 43-year-old Reza Karimi. It showed a passport-style photograph of a man it identified as Karimi, saying he was born in the nearby city of Kashan, Iran.

The report did not elaborate how Karimi would have gotten access to one of the most secure facilities in the Islamic Republic. According to unsourced reports in US and Israeli media, Natanz’s main and backup power lines were blown up by a 150-kilogram bomb early on April 11, hours after Iran publicly began using advanced IR-5 and IR-6 centrifuges at the site, in open breach of the 2015 international nuclear deal.

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