Damage at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility
Damage at Iran's Natanz nuclear facilityReuters

Professor Uzi Rabi, Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University, spoke to Radio 103FM on Wednesday and commented on reports that Iran has begun building an underground nuclear facility to manufacture advanced centrifuges in the Natanz area, replacing a facility which sustained heavy damage in a mysterious explosion in July.

"There is defiance here but with calculated timing. I am definitely linking it to the US election and perhaps also to the bloc that has emerged in the Middle East under US leadership in recent weeks, a bloc that is known to be anti-Iranian," said Prof. Rabi.

This defiance, he added, teaches us where the leadership of the Islamic Republic is at right now. "The US election is seen by it as something that is almost existential, it is clear to it that a Biden victory will release a lot of pressure, this is what they understand even if it may not be true."

At the conclusion of the interview, Prof. Rabi explained why the Iranians feel threatened by another term of US President Trump.

"What the Iranians are concerned about is four more years of the unpredictable behavior of Trump that resulted in the death of Qassem Soleimani. They are very concerned of a dynamic being created in Iran that could get them ousted from power. The US election has never been so important from the perspective of Iran," he said.