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

Amos Yadlin, Executive Director of the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), commented on Monday on the mysterious explosion at the Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran which foreign reports attributed to Israel.

Speaking in an interview on Radio 103FM, Yadlin said, “One must look at the strategic situation in Iran, they are in a difficult situation. They have financial difficulties because of the sanctions, and they also have a second wave of coronavirus, and the value of their currency is dropping.”

"[Qassem] Soleimani was eliminated, they have problems in Lebanon and Syria, where the economy is also a problem. The Iranians did not want to deal with another event. They are strategically waiting to see what happens in the US elections in November. They are satisfied because they believe that a Democratic president will be elected," he added.

Commenting on the explosion at Natanz, Yadlin said, "This is not a secret site, it is a well-known place which is being monitored. Most of the site is underground, the place where the uranium is enriched is under a bunker of at least 10 meters of concrete underground, the buildings above are administrative buildings, and the same structure that was damaged is where research and development to perfect the centrifuges is underway. Whoever targeted the place knew where it was and what they were doing."

Later in the interview, Yadlin hinted at the identity of the source who provided information Israel’s alleged involvement in the explosion, "I see the New York Times and the Israeli reporter who writes there and I know who he knows who lives south of Tel Aviv, so do 1+1 and you’ll know who the source is."

The interview follows Iran’s announcement last Thursday of an "accident" at the Natanz nuclear complex in central Iran.

Iran's Atomic Energy Organization gave no further details, but Natanz governor Ramezan-Ali Ferdowsi told the Tasnim news agency that a fire had broken out at the site.

On Sunday, an unnamed Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the “accident” at Natanz told The New York Times that Israel was responsible for the attack, using a powerful bomb.