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CND condemns the suspected cyber-attack on the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in Iran, which will only increase the risk of conflict in the Middle East. The attack seems intended to derail the ongoing talks in Vienna which are working to restore the Iran nuclear deal.

The Israeli media is reporting that the sabotage operation was an Israeli military and intelligence action.  This has produced a furious response in Iran, which has accused Israel of ‘nuclear terrorism’ and whose Foreign Minister has said ‘we will take our revenge’.

Sunday’s action fits into a wider pattern of Israeli extra-legal action, ranging from the Stuxnet computer virus a decade ago to the assassination of the Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November.

This attack highlights the nuclear double standards when it comes to the Middle East. Israel has a nuclear weapons arsenal, outside of any international monitoring, yet no sanctions are placed on it or punitive action taken as a result. A very different approach is taken to Iran, which has no nuclear weapons and had voluntarily entered the JCPoA and accepted full IAEA inspections prior to former President Trump’s unilateral withdrawal from the agreement.

Successive nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conferences have called for a nuclear weapons-free Middle East, and the UK and the US must now take steps to ensure the negotiations to this end are a success.

CND will be addressing these issues in depth in its forthcoming conference: Working for Peace in the Middle East, on Saturday 22nd May.

Please register and join the discussion.