World Bulletin/News Desk
Explosives were used to cut the electricity power lines to Iran's underground enrichment plant last month, nuclear energy chief Fereydoun Abbasi-Davani told the annual member state gathering of the International Atomic Energy Agency on Monday.
Abbasi-Davani, in unusually strong language in an international forum, also accused the U.N. nuclear watchdog of a cynical approach and mismanagement and suggested that "terrorists and saboteurs" might have infiltrated it.
Iran has accused Israel and Tehran's Western enemies of being behind the assassination of Iranian nuclear scientists and of trying to sabotage its nuclear programme in other ways.
Abbasi-Davani said explosives had been used to cut power lines from the city of Qom to the Fordow underground uranium enrichment plant on Aug. 17.
A day later, he said, IAEA inspectors had asked for an unannounced visit to Fordow.
"Does this visit have any connection to that detonation? Who other than the IAEA inspectors can have access to the complex in such a short time?" Abbasi-Davani told the gathering in Vienna.
"It should be recalled that power cut-off is one of the ways to break down centrifuge machines," he said, referring to the machines used to enrich uranium, which can have both civilian and military purposes.
A new oil contract will replace a buy back programme and new joint ventures with international companies once the sanctions are lifted next year
At least five Russian airstrikes have targeted humanitarian aid trucks coming from Turkey to aid Syrian refugees in the past two days
Turkmen factions have launched a ground offiensive and have made noticable advances against Assad regime forces
Israeli Foreign Ministry director visits United Arab Emirates' capital Adu Dhabi to finalize opening of mission
Five people are killed when Russian warplanes strike targets in opposition-held area of Syria's northwestern Idlib province
At least 180,879 civilians have been killed by the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria since March 2011, Syrian Network for Human Rights says
Saudi Arabia has long been deeply suspicious of Hezbollah, a close ally of its regional rival Iran
Thousands of Turkmen reportedly displaced by ongoing assaults by regime and Russian warplanes in Syria's predominantly-Turkmen Bayirbucak region
A dozen people killed in separate bombings and shooting attacks across war-torn Iraq, local sources report
'Next week, I expect to provide my final assessment on all past and present outstanding issues,' International Atomic Energy Agency head Yukiya Amano says
Syrian Network for Human Rights says 20,000 women have been killed in the Syrian conflict, wıth almost 95 percent of them by Assad regime
Regime offensive comes one day after Turkmen fighters retook control of Kizildag town
Russian planes have carried out at least 12 strikes in the area where Turkey downed their fighter jet
The second pilot who ejected from the fighter jet shot by Turkish forces has been picked up by the Syrian army
Sources report that first pilot was killed by opposition forces who shot at him as he landed after ejecting from the plane
Turkish reports say incident happened in border area between Turkey's southern Hatay province and an area in northwest Syria populated by the Turkic-speaking Turkmen minority