UK & World News
Siemens Denies Iran Nuclear Sabotage Plot
German engineering firm Siemens has dismissed claims it supplied Iran with equipment for its nuclear programme that had been sabaotaged with explosives.
Aladin Borujerdi, a prominent MP and chair of the parliamentary national security and foreign policy commission, told the Iraninan parliament's ICANA news website that the country's intelligence agencies had foiled the alleged plot.
"Intelligence-security apparatus succeeded in discovering explosives in equipment which were provided to us for our nuclear activities," he was quoted as saying.
"The explosives were to blow up when activated to disrupt the whole system. Domestic experts nullified the plot of the enemy, however.
"The company Siemens, which provided this equipment, must answer for its action."
But the German company, which was building a nuclear power station in Iran before the Islamic revolution in 1979, said it had not been involved in any deals in the country and had no knowledge of the plot.
"Siemens does not have any business ties with Iran's nuclear programme and does not supply any technical equipment for it," a spokesman for the Munich-based multinational said.
Any sale of nuclear equipment to Iran is banned under UN sanctions.
The Islamic Republic has suffered the assassination of four of its nuclear scientists in the past two years, attacks it has blamed on Israel, the US and Britain.
It also claims it has been targeted through the sale of faulty equipment and the planting of a destructive computer worm known as Stuxnet, which briefly brought Iran's uranium enrichment activity to a halt in 2010.
Iran's nuclear chief, Fereidoun Abbasi, said on Monday that separate attacks on Iran's centrifuges - through tiny explosives meant to disable key parts of the machines - were discovered before the blasts could go off on timers.
He also told the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna that "terrorists and saboteurs" might have infiltrated the UN watchdog, while Javad Jahangirzadeh, a senior parliamentarian, accused it of passing confidential information about Iran's nuclear activities to Israel.
Tehran maintains the nuclear programme is for the peaceful production of electricity, but Western powers accuse it of seeking to develop nuclear weapons.