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Iran: Attack on Karaj plant 'enabled' by hacking of IAEA's cameras

A pharmaceutical factory worker packages vitamin and mineral supplements at the Actoverco plant in Karaj, Iran on February 18, 2020 [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]
A pharmaceutical factory worker packages vitamin and mineral supplements at the Actoverco plant in Karaj, Iran on February 18, 2020 [ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty Images]

Iran suspects that an attack on its Karaj nuclear plant last June could have been enabled by hacking the International Atomic Energy Agency's (IAEA) surveillance cameras at the site.

However, IAEA chief Rafael Grossi dismissed the suggestion as "absurd", insisting the monitors were tamper-proof and that, once installed, they had no means of remote data transmission.

The Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran (AEOI) announced yesterday that the IAEA's surveillance cameras will be installed within days in the Karaj facility but stressed that the UN nuclear watchdog will not be able to review the footage before sanctions are lifted.

Last June, Iran said the facility had been subjected to a "sabotage attack", and blamed Israel for the incident.

Iran designated the Karaj plant a crime scene and the IAEA was not allowed to replace the damaged surveillance cameras until last week.

Moreover, the IAEA was not able to recover the camera memory cards destroyed in June, and on Friday Grossi said he had "doubts" over a missing camera memory unit.

Footage from cameras located at other sites will only be available to the IAEA once US sanctions are lifted, Iran has said.

Talks to revive the 2015 nuclear deal resumed in late November and on Friday European diplomats warned that they were "rapidly reaching the end of the road".

READ: European negotiators call on Iran to pick up pace in nuclear talks

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