Israel is being blamed for a weekend cyberattack and blackout at an Iranian nuclear facility. It’s a move that further complicates an already difficult effort by the United States to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, according to Virginia Tech’s Mehrzad Boroujerdi.

“By orchestrating a second major attack on Natanz site in less than 10 months, Israel is declaring loud and clear that it wants to play the role of ‘spoiler’ in any newly hatched nuclear deal reached with Iran,” said Boroujerdi. “The timing of this attack was perfect for them as the highest defense official of the Biden Administration, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, was to start his first visit to Israel.”

“The Iranians do not want any confrontation with Israel that is above the threshold of pain and will for the time being concentrate on the nuclear negotiations. There is no doubt, however, that the Iranian hardliners will be advocating a tougher response to Israel to stop it from becoming more brazen. After all, from their perspective, you don't want to give the spoiler the veto power over such a sensitive issue as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) ” he said.

About Mehrzad Boroujerdi

Mehrzad Boroujerdi is director of the School of Public and International Affairs at Virginia Tech.  Previously he was a professor of Political Science at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs for over two dozen years. He is the author/editor of four books and has published numerous journal articles and book chapters on the Middle East. Dr. Boroujerdi has also been a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University and UT-Austin, a visiting scholar at UCLA, President of the Association for Iranian Studies, a non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C., and a fellow of the American Council on Education. He has done consulting work for Booz Allen Hamilton, Camber Corporation, Centra, L-3 Communications, Merrill Lynch, and Statoil among others. Dr. Boroujerdi has been interviewed by numerous national and international media outlets such as Al Jazeera, Associated Press, Economist, Guardian, LA Times, NPR, New York Times, Reuters, Spiegel and Washington Post.

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To secure a live or recorded interview with Mehrzad Boroujerdi, contact Bill Foy by email, or by phone at 540-998-0288.

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