Iran Temporarily Closed Nuclear Facilities Fearing Israeli Strikes

The head of the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said last week that Iran had closed its nuclear facilities for one day following its unprecedented drone and missile attacks on Israel, the Times of Israel reported.

IAEA head Rafael Grossi spoke with reporters on the sidelines during a meeting of the UN Security Council last Monday and was asked if he was concerned that Israel might launch retaliatory strikes on Iran’s nuclear facilities in response to the April 13 attack.

Grossi told reporters that the IAEA was “always concerned about this possibility,” and added that IAEA inspectors in Iran had been informed on April 14 that its nuclear facilities “would remain closed on security considerations.”

According to Grossi, the facilities were reopened the following day but the IAEA inspectors would not return until April 16. He insisted that the escalating tensions would not have an impact on the IAEA’s daily inspection activities.

For the first time in history, Iran directly attacked Israel on Saturday, April 13, launching hundreds of ballistic missiles and explosive drones in retaliation for Israel’s targeted strike on a military compound adjacent to the Iranian consulate in Damascus, Syria.

The Damascus strike killed two Quds Force commanders and a member of the Iranian-backed Hezbollah. Also among the dead were several Syrians from the country’s Iranian-backed militia groups.

In an April 14 emergency meeting of the Security Council requested by Israel, Gilad Erdan, the Israeli ambassador to the UN, called on the 15-member body to condemn the April 13 attack.

Gilad accused Iran of violating international law and urged the UN to reimpose sanctions on the country. He also urged the UN to designate Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps. a terror organization.

Iran’s ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani defended the unprecedented attack as proportionate and necessary. He warned the US and Israel that Iran had the right to proportionately respond if the US initiated any military action against it.