Iran blames Israel for sabotage at nuclear site

Iran says a sabotage attack on its underground Natanz nuclear facility damaged its centrifuges and blamed Israel. The incident complicates President Joe Biden's attempt to re-negotiate a return to the nuclear accord with Iran. Israel's prime minister has vowed to stop the deal at all costs.

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April 12, 2021 - 9:16 AM

An unidentified International Atomic Energy Agency inspector disconnects the connections between the twin cascades for 20 percent uranium production at the nuclear research center of Natanz, some 300 kilometers south of Tehran, on January, 20, 2014. Iran's Atomic Energy Organization on Sunday labeled a disruption at the Natanz nuclear facility a "terrorist act." (Kazem Ghane/IRNA/AFP/Getty Images/TNS)

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iran blamed Israel today for a sabotage attack on its underground Natanz nuclear facility that damaged its centrifuges, an assault that imperils ongoing talks over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal and brings a shadow war between the two countries into the light.

Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack. It rarely does for operations carried out by its secret military units or its Mossad intelligence agency. However, Israeli media widely reported that the country had orchestrated a devastating cyberattack that caused a blackout at the nuclear facility. 

While the nature of the attack and the extent of the damage at Natanz remains unclear, a former Iranian official said the assault set off a fire while a spokesman mentioned a “possible minor explosion.” 

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