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Iran Says It Has Arrested 4 In Nuclear Sabotage Plot

Iran has arrested four people who it says were intent on sabotaging facilities in its nuclear program. The head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran says the four are now being questioned.

"Some time ago, a number of people were arrested in one of the (nuclear) facilities when they were involved in planning activities," Ali Akbar Salehi said Sunday, according to Iran's state-run Tasnim News Agency.

Before their arrest, the suspects' activities had been monitored, Salehi said. He added that their interrogation is now under way.

"We let them do their activity to some extent, so that they would be arrested at the right time," he said, according to Tasnim.

He added that Iranian authorities had also identified "a number of other sabotage plots."

As for who Iran might hold responsible for the alleged plot, the AP reports that Salehi told the semi-official Fars news agency, "Hostile countries are not interested in finding [a] way out of [the] current situation and they are trying to block agreement on the nuclear case though acts of sabotage."

Decoding the possible meaning of that statement, the AP says, "In Iranian official terminology, hostile countries are usually a reference to Israel and the United States. But the attempts at historic diplomacy ... with Washington suggested the term was aimed at Israel."

Salehi also said that Iran has taken steps to protect itself from cyber attacks such as the Stuxnet virus, which struck the country's uranium enrichment facilities in 2010.

"We have carried out the necessary measures in this field, and since the outbreak of the Stuxnet virus, the Atomic Energy Organization has embarked on countering such malwares," he said, according to Tasnim. "To this end computer protection systems were upgraded, and we also separated the systems that were connected to the Internet."

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