Iran is blaming Israel for what it says was sabotage on its Natanz nuclear site over the weekend and vowed revenge against the perpetrators.
Iran uses the Natanz site for uranium enrichment and had inaugurated new equipment at the facility a day before the incident. The site’s power network suffered an “incident”, Iran said on the next day, Sunday.
After initially reporting that it was a power failure, Iran said later on Sunday that the site was a target of “sabotage” and blamed the bitter rival Israel for it.
“The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions... We will not fall into their trap...We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted by state TV as saying on Monday.
Israel’s secret service Mossad was responsible for the successful sabotage of Iran’s nuclear site, intelligence sources told Israeli media. According to Hebrew outlets that cited the sources, the cyberattack and the subsequent power failure at the Iranian nuclear facility have dealt a severe blow to Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
The incident in Iran and the blame game come just as the world powers and Iran started last week to discuss ways for the Islamic Republic and the United States to return to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the so-called Iranian nuclear deal.
Iran insists that it will only start complying with its obligations under the nuclear deal after the United States removes all the sanctions on the Islamic Republic, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said at the end of last week when talks were ongoing in Vienna.
The United States, under the Biden Administration, is seeking to revive the nuclear deal after the Trump Administration pulled out of the agreement in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran’s oil, shipping, and banking industries.
The Biden Administration, however, has set Iran’s return to compliance with its nuclear activities as a condition before it would consider lifting the sanctions.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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