Following Israel’s strike, Iran shuttered its nuclear facilities: IAEA head

The chief of the UN’s atomic watchdog said on Monday that Iran has temporarily halted its nuclear facilities due to “security considerations” after its major missile and drone strike on Israel over the weekend.


Rafael Grossi, the director of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), was asked by reporters at a UN Security Council meeting whether he was worried that Israel may attack an Iranian nuclear plant in retribution for the assault.

“We worry about this possibility all the time. What I can tell you is that the Iranian government told our inspectors there yesterday (Sunday) that all the nuclear sites we are regularly examining would be closed due to security concerns,” he added.

According to Grossi, the facilities were scheduled to reopen on Monday, but inspectors wouldn’t be back until the next day.

He called for “extreme restraint” and said, “I decided to not let the inspectors return until we see that the situation is completely calm.”

Iran retaliated against Syria for an airstrike that killed seven Revolutionary Guardsmen, including two generals, by launching more than 300 drones and missiles into Israel throughout the course of the night on Saturday and Sunday.

Even while the assault only resulted in minimal damage and was mostly shot down by Israel and its allies, worries over a possible Israeli retaliation have still heightened fears of a full-scale regional conflict.

Israel has already conducted operations on nuclear facilities in the area.

Against Washington’s objections, it destroyed Saddam Hussein’s Osirak nuclear plant in Iraq in 1981. Furthermore, it acknowledged in 2018 that, eleven years earlier, it had carried out a top-secret airstrike on a Syrian reactor.

Tehran also charges Israel with the 2010 murders of two Iranian nuclear scientists and the 2010 kidnapping of a third.

Additionally in 2010, a sophisticated Stuxnet virus hack that Tehran blamed on the US and Israel caused a string of failures in Iranian centrifuges used for uranium enrichment.

Iran disputes Israel’s accusations that it seeks to get an atomic weapon.

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