Iran Says Suspect Behind Natanz Plant Attack Identified | News from Israel


Iranian authorities name Reza Karimi, 43, as the perpetrator of the attack on the nuclear power plant, say he fled the country.

Iran said it had identified a suspect in connection with a recent explosion and a power outage at its main nuclear power plant in Natanz, as talks were underway in the Austrian capital to try to save the country’s nuclear deal with world powers.

State television said the 43-year-old Reza Karimi fled Iran before the explosion last Sunday which she blamed on rival Israel.

He showed what he said was a photograph of the alleged perpetrator on a red card that read “Interpol Wanted”.

“The necessary steps are underway for his arrest and his return to the country through legal channels,” the report added.

Israel did not officially accept responsibility for the attack but did not place any censorship restrictions on its wide coverage by local media, some of which have explicitly stated that the Israeli spy agency Mossad was responsible.

The attack on major Iranian nuclear facilities caused a major power failure and damaged an unknown number of centrifuges.

State television also broadcast footage on Saturday of rows of what it said were centrifuges that had replaced those damaged by the explosion at the Natanz uranium enrichment plant.

The report added that a “large number” of centrifuges whose enrichment activity had been interrupted by the explosion had been returned to normal service.

Meanwhile, officials from the other parties to the 2015 nuclear deal – Iran, China, Russia, Germany, France and the UK, as well as the European Union – concluded a formal meeting in Vienna on an upbeat note, with different parties reporting progress was being made.

Representatives of the United States, which unilaterally left the deal in 2018 and imposed sanctions on Iran, were again at a different hotel, with Europeans commuting between themselves and other representatives.

The deal prevented Iran from storing enough highly enriched uranium to be able to use a nuclear weapon if it chose to do so in return for the lifting of economic sanctions.

After the talks, Iran’s top negotiator said a “new deal” appears to be forming between all parties as a result of work by two task forces – one to determine what sanctions the United States needs to lift and the other to determine nuclear measurements. Iran must take – have been considered.

“There is now a shared vision of the end goal among all parties and the way forward is a little better known,” said Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister and seasoned negotiator.

“Although it is not an easy path. There are serious differences that will have to be resolved, ”he added.

Iran’s nuclear chief Ali Akbar Salehi said the country started production of 60% enriched uranium on Friday. Iran has said it wants to use it to produce molybdenum to eventually manufacture radiopharmaceuticals.

Iran had already increased its uranium enrichment to 20% after the assassination of a senior nuclear and military scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, in November. The nuclear deal caps the country’s enrichment at 3.67%. 90% enrichment is required for military grade use.

Iran insists its nuclear program is peaceful, although Western countries and the UN nuclear watchdog claim Tehran had an organized military nuclear program until the end of 2003. An annual report by US intelligence services released on Tuesday confirmed the United States’ long-standing assessment that Iran is not attempting to build a nuclear bomb.





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