Gantz: Not everything that happens in Iran is connected to us

A series of mysterious accidents has rocked Iran in the past week

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz attends the Knesset's Remembrance Day service, April 26, 2020 (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz attends the Knesset's Remembrance Day service, April 26, 2020
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday denied that Israel was behind a number of mysterious blasts in Iran, saying that not everything that happens there could be blamed on the Jewish state.

“Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us... All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I'm not sure they always know how to maintain them,” the former IDF chief of staff told Army Radio after a series of explosions rocked sites associated with Iran’s missile and nuclear program.

“Everyone can be suspicious of us all the time,” Gantz told Army Radio. “But not every incident that happens in Iran necessarily has something to do with us.”

“We continue to act on all fronts to reduce the possibility that Iran will become a nuclear power – and we will continue to do this part of protecting our security,” Gantz said.  “A nuclear Iran is a threat to the world and the region, as well as a threat to Israel. And we will do everything to prevent that [threat] from happening. And we will do everything possible to prevent Iran from spreading terror and weapons, but I do not refer to any individual event.”

A series of mysterious explosions has occurred in Iran, starting last Thursday when an explosion rocked a facility close to the country's Prachin military complex. While Tehran said the explosion was caused by a gas leak, satellite photos later showed that the blast took place at a nearby missile production facility.

It was followed by an explosion at a hospital in Tehran that killed 19 people. And on Friday, a large fire caused extensive damage to a building at the nuclear complex at Natanz, Iran's largest uranium-enrichment facility. The next day, another fire was reported at a power station in the southern Iranian region of Ahvzaz, close to the Iraqi border.

Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization confirmed that an incident happened at Natanz, where the highly sophisticated Stuxnet cyberattack took place in 2010. Although Iranian state media has blamed Israel and the United States for possibly sabotaging the sites, it stopped short of directly accusing either country. 

Iran says it knows who is behind the incident. Civil Defense Chief Gholmareza Jalali told State TV on Thursday that “responding to cyberattacks is part of the country’s defense might. If it is proven that our country has been targeted by a cyberattack, we will respond.”

While Iran has denied seeking nuclear weapons and says its atomic program is peaceful, Israel has warned repeatedly about Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and has pledged to never allow it to obtain such weapons that can threaten the Jewish state.