Iran blamed on Tuesday Israel for attacking in late June a civilian nuclear site near Tehran, admitting that the attempt damaged the building, Iranian state media reported.
This is the second time that Iran has blamed Israel for an attempted sabotage against a nuclear facility since Iran, the United States, and the remaining signatories to the so-called Iranian nuclear deal started negotiations in April about the U.S. and Iran potentially returning to the agreement. If the parties agree to a deal, it would eventually mean the lifting of the U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil exports.
Back in April, a week after the nuclear deal talks began in Vienna, Iran blamed Israel for what it said was sabotage on its Natanz nuclear site and vowed revenge against the perpetrators.
Iran uses the Natanz site for uranium enrichment and had inaugurated new equipment at the facility a day before the incident. The site’s power network suffered an “incident”, Iran said on the next day.
After initially reporting that it was a power failure, Iran said later that the site was a target of “sabotage” and blamed the bitter rival Israel for it.
“The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions… We will not fall into their trap…We will not allow this act of sabotage to affect the nuclear talks,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was quoted by state TV as saying at the time.
Now Iran is blaming Israel again for what it says was an attempted attack at the civilian nuclear site in Karaj, 25 miles northwest of Tehran, on June 23. Back then Iran said it had foiled an attack at Karaj which didn’t cause damages or result in casualties.
Iran admitted on July 6 for the first time that the attack had caused damage to the building, the Associated Press reports.