Iran blames Israel for nuclear site explosion | DW News


From DW News.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry on Monday said Israel was responsible for a power failure at the Natanz nuclear complex south of Tehran on Sunday. The facility lost power Sunday a day after Iran unveiled new advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium faster — violating commitments of the 2015 nuclear deal. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarid said Monday that Israel sabotaged the facility because of "progress" in talks between Tehran and world powers to lift sanctions. Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh later said at a press conference that Israel was taking "revenge on the people of Iran for their patience and wise attitude regarding the lifting of sanctions."
"If the purpose was to interrupt the path of lifting the oppressive sanctions against Iran, they will certainly not reach their goal," Khatibzadeh said. Last week, US and European officials said a first round of talks aimed at reviving the nuclear deal were "constructive."

On Sunday, Israel said it would cooperate with US policy on Iran. However, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said any deal with Tehran cannot compromise Israeli security, adding that Iran is a "strategic threat" to international security. The Israeli government has not yet directly commented on the incident at Natanz. However, reports in several Israeli media outlets quoted unnamed intelligence officials in saying Israel’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, was responsible. Amichai Stein, an Israeli public broadcast journalist, wrote on Twitter — without providing any evidence — that the power shutdown at Natanz was the "result of an Israeli cyber operation."

Just hours after the incident, Israeli army chief Aviv Kochavi said the Israel’s "operations throughout the Middle East are not hidden from the eyes of the enemies." "They are watching us, seeing the capabilities and carefully considering their steps," he said. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Sunday that "the struggle against Iran and its proxies and the Iranian armament efforts is a huge mission."


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