Published: Sat, April 17, 2021
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Iran state television names suspect in Natanz nuclear facility attack

Iran state television names suspect in Natanz nuclear facility attack

"The will of the Iranian nation makes miracles that thwart any conspiracy", Qalibaf said on Twitter.

His comments follow a report by Axios last week citing an unnamed senior Biden official, who said that the United States had "put forward some very serious ideas" and "demonstrated a seriousness of purpose" at the recent Vienna nuclear talks, while Iran has yet to demonstrate that it will "match" "that seriousness of objective". While Israel has yet to claim it, the country is widely suspected of having carried out the still-unexplained sabotage at Natanz, Iran's main enrichment site.

Though 60% enrichment of the chemical element is is a record high for Iran, it is still below the 90% threshold required for nuclear weapons.

Talks on Iran's nuclear program aimed at salvaging a 2015 deal made "progress" Saturday, a day after Tehran said it had started producing uranium at 60 percent purity.

"We do not support, and do not think it's at all helpful, that Iran is saying it's going to move to enrich to 60%". But analysts assess that Iran can only enrich in small amounts for now, due to the extensive damage to the Natanz site.

Interpol, based in Lyon, France, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The heightened enrichment could inspire a further response from Israel amid a long-running shadow war between the nations.

Israel is adamant that Iran is seeking the bomb - with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying Iran is duping the global community as it pursues its rogue program - and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi vowed Friday that Israel will do whatever it takes to "definitely" prevent Iran attaining nuclear weapons.

The 2015 nuclear agreement lifted then-existing sanctions in exchange for Tehran's acceptance of strict limits on its nuclear program.

An annual U.S. intelligence report released this week maintained that "Iran is not now undertaking the key nuclear weapons-development activities that we judge would be necessary to produce a nuclear device".

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Wednesday during a cabinet meeting that Iran had no problem negotiating a return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, but would do so "according to its own logic". However, the Islamic Republic now has no such ships in its navy.

Washington wants Iran to reverse the breaches of the deal that it made in retaliation for tough sanctions imposed by former President Donald Trump after he pulled the US out of the deal in 2018.

The threat of higher enrichment by Iran already had drawn criticism from the USA and three European nations in the nuclear deal - France, Germany and the United Kingdom.

The weekend attack at Natanz was initially described only as a blackout in the electrical grid feeding above-ground workshops and underground enrichment halls - but later Iranian officials began calling it an attack.

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