Dubai, April 12
Iran on Monday accused arch-foe Israel of sabotaging its key Natanz nuclear site and vowed revenge for an attack that appeared to be latest episode in a long-running covert war.
Iran’s semi-official Nournews website said the person who caused an electricity outage in one of the production halls at the underground uranium enrichment plant had been identified. “Necessary measures are being taken to arrest this person,” the website reported.
The incident occurred amid diplomatic efforts by Iran and the US to revive Tehran’s 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, an accord Israel fiercely opposed, after former US President Donald Trump abandoned it three years ago. Last week, Iran and the global powers held talks to salvage the deal, which has unravelled as Iran has breached its limits on sensitive uranium enrichment since US reimposed sanctions on Tehran.
Iranian authorities described the incident a day earlier as an act of “nuclear terrorism”. On Monday, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif explicitly blamed Israel.
Israel has not formally commented on the incident. Iranian nuclear energy chief Ali Akbar Salehi said an emergency power system had been activated at Natanz to offset the outage. “Enrichment of uranium has not stopped,” he said. — Reuters