Iran claims that its nuclear programme hit by fresh sabotage

Iran has claimed that its nuclear programme has been hit by new attempts of sabotage, after two bids were made to blow up power lines linking the country's nuclear facilities, with sources saying that attacks could be linked to the US military.

Iran's vice president and the chief of its nuclear-energy agency Fereydoun Abbasi claimed power lines between the holy city of Qom and the underground Fordow nuclear centrifuge facility and others leading to Iran’s Natanz facilities were blown up with explosives in August, the Daily Mail reported.

The plant at Fordo, about 60 Kms south of Tehran is buried deep in a mountainside to protect it from assault.

It also is being used to enrich uranium closer to the level needed for a nuclear warhead than what is used to power most industrial reactors.

Abbasi said the sabotage was foiled 'by using backup batteries and diesel generators' that prevented any disruption to centrifuges used to spin uranium to enriched levels.

He also said a separate attack on the country's centrifuges - through tiny explosions meant to disable key parts of the machines - was discovered before the timed blasts could go off.

His allegations come as the Mail quoting an American intelligence source said, that there is a possibilty that US military may be connected to the attack.

Abbasi's disclosed the sabotage attempts at the ongoing general conference of the IAEA in Vienna and charged that the bids came soon after IAEA inspector turned up to inspect an underground enrichment plants after its power lines had been blown up.

He alleged that 'terrorists and saboteurs' might have infiltrated the International Atomic Energy Agency in an effort to derail his nation's atomic program.

The Mail said dozens of unexplained explosions have hit Iran's gas pipelines and the country's first nuclear power plant suffered major equipment failures delaying its operations for decades before going on line this year - delays that some experts attribute to acts of sabotage.

The top Iranian nuclear official claimed that experts have 'devised certain ways through which nuclear facilities remain intact under missile attacks and raids'.

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