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Mysterious blackout in Iran threatens to undermine nuclear talks

   April 14, 2021 7:49 AM
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by Ramin Mostaghim, Tamara Qiblawi, Andrew Carey and Mostafa Salem, CNN

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Iran accuses Israel of sabotaging nuclear site, vows revenge Iran calls blackout at underground atomic facility 'nuclear terrorism.'
 
TEHRAN, Iran - Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif has vowed revenge against Israel after an apparent attack on an Iranian nuclear site caused a blackout at the facility over the weekend.

The incident threatens to undermine recently revived diplomatic efforts between Washington and Tehran to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

Newly inaugurated centrifuges at Iran's Natanz facility, a centrepiece of the country's contentious nuclear program, appeared to have been badly damaged in Sunday's incident, which Tehran has described as an act of "nuclear terrorism."

Israel's army chief hinted at possible Israeli involvement in the attack in comments on Sunday. Several Israeli media outlets, quoting unnamed intelligence sources, said Mossad, the national intelligence agency, was behind the operation but offered no other details. The most high-profile condemnation from Tehran came on Monday, according to Iran's state-run IRNA news agency, when Zarif reportedly accused Israel of seeking "revenge" over Iran's efforts to lift US sanctions on the country during last week's indirect negotiations to return to the nuclear deal.

"Our stance will be stronger, and our sides in the negotiations must know that our enriching installations were so far the first generation," Zarif said, according to IRNA. "But from now on, we will fill Natanz with further advanced centrifuges with many more folds of power of enrichment."

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