DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran on Sunday described a blackout at its underground Natanz atomic facility an act of “nuclear terrorism,” raising regional tensions as world powers and Tehran continue to negotiate over its tattered nuclear deal.
While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, suspicion fell immediately on Israel, where its media nearly uniformly reported a devastating cyberattack orchestrated by the country caused the blackout.
If Israel was responsible, it further heightens tensions between the two nations, already engaged in a shadow conflict across the wider Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who met Sunday with U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, has vowed to do everything in his power to stop the nuclear deal.
Details remained few about what happened early Sunday morning at the facility, which initially was described as a blackout caused by the electrical grid feeding its above-ground workshops and underground enrichment halls.
Ali Akbar Salehi, the American-educated head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, who once served as the country’s foreign minister, offered what appeared to be the harshest comments of his long career, which included the assassination of nuclear scientists a decade ago. Iran blames Israel for those killings as well.
2. Related: Iran plans to move to advanced uranium enrichment. Iran also has for many years overtly threatened to destroy the state of Israel, as well as the USA.
War between Russia and Ukraine looks imminent. Israel and Iran are engaging in tit for tat maritime altercations. And China is ratcheting up provocative incursions into the airspaces and waters of Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines.
Any one of these regional conflicts is incendiary enough to ignite World War III (or, more accurately, each one is capable of transforming the cold, hybrid warfare of cyberhacks, technology thefts, financial markets manipulation, and perhaps even biological attacks that has been underway for many years into total and unrelenting global bloodshed), yet trading markets and news media are largely ignoring what’s unfolding. It’s as if the Cuban Missile Crisis, the 1999 Kargil War between nuclear-equipped India and Pakistan, and the Soviet and Nazi Invasion of Poland were all happening concurrently, and the world decided it was too busy enforcing face mask mandates upon religious congregants and following the turmoil of Khloe Kardashian to care.
4. Turkish-backed Syrian rebel group holds ‘graduation’ for new fighters | AFP
ISIS attacks in Mozambique are probably being co-ordinated with the terrorist group’s core leadership as part of an expanding campaign across Africa, security analysts told The National.
Experts believe there is an organised propaganda campaign across the continent to amplify the extremist group’s standing and support.
The concerns emerged after the deadly ISIS attack on Palma in which a well-armed detachment of about 150 fighters seized the town for several days, killing scores of civilians including western contractors.
Infiltration of ISIS’s communications network showed extremist supporters around the world celebrated the attack before the town’s occupation was announced across the terror group’s global network.
The assault led to southern African and western countries taking action to stop the spread of extremism across the continent.
The Southern African Development Community countries were continuing discussions on Friday to provide support for Mozambique. The South Africa Navy, Angolan Air Force and Tanzanian land forces could become involved in a co-ordinated defence policy.
Six presidents held emergency talks in the Mozambican capital Maputo, two weeks after the Palma attack, which also forced thousands from their homes.
Thank you M., Yucki, Marianne W., EB., ET., and all who have contributed in any way to our mutual benefit.
Please check the comments under the reader’s links post for this week, those who may be looking for more items on geopolitics and what increasingly looks like a stage set for kinetic warfare.