Saturday, October 16

Attack on Natanz hinders negotiations to save nuclear deal

Correspondent in Jerusalem



Vienna is preparing to resume indirect contacts between Iran Y USA with the aim of recovering the nuclear agreement. The attack suffered on Sunday at the nuclear plant in Natanz, of which the Iranians accuse Israel, has complicated a negotiating process that started last week with a positive balance. In response to the aggression suffered, Hasán Rohani confirmed that next week they will begin to enrich uranium to 60% and that the damaged centrifuges will be replaced by newer ones. These measures move Iran further away from the text signed in 2015 and the European signatories of the pact, who did not react after the attack on Natanz, showed “great concern” because they consider them “contrary to the constructive spirit and good faith of these negotiations.”

The escalation of tension forced the start of the meetings in the Austrian capital to be delayed for 24 hours. Rohani is under strong pressure from ultra-conservative sectors that demand that he abandon the dialogue, but the president once again insisted that as soon as the United States lifts the sanctions, they will backtrack and return to respect all the points of the original text. The moderate cleric denounced Israel’s “nuclear terrorism” and said that “as we respond to their conspiracy, we will stand firm on the peaceful nature of our program, which will remain under the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). . At 60%, at 20 or three, it is peaceful and supervised under the IAEA.

Rohani’s words did not reassure the United Kingdom, France and Germany, European signatories of the pact, whose foreign ministers showed their “great concern” and reminded Tehran that this step “is an important event, given that the production of highly enriched uranium it constitutes an important step in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon. ‘ Experts indicate that 90% purity is required to manufacture the pump. Your Iranian counterpart, Javad zarif, responded to them on his Twitter account, insisting that the only way to get out of the “dangerous spiral” after the Natanz explosion is to end the “economic terrorism” of the former US president. Donald Trump and lift the punishments. Zarif pointed out that Joe Biden He has “little time” left to bring his country back to the agreement.

Opposite result

The passage of the years has shown that Trump’s strategy of maximum pressure and sanctions has not yielded the expected results. Before the United States left the pact, the Iranians respected it and enriched uranium to 3.67%, three years later they are about to reach 60%, a figure that they had never reached before.

IAEA experts visited the attacked site in Natanz and confirmed that a “small explosion” had caused damage. Ali Rabii, government spokesman, revealed the first details of the investigation that indicate that “it was not an external attack, the place of the sabotage was clearly established and (…) the explosion occurred in the electrical cables that feed the centrifuge system” .

Intelligence sources consulted by ‘The New York Times’ attributed the attack to Israel, but the Jewish State, as it usually does in these cases, neither confirms it nor denies it. The United States, however, did declare that it had no role in the operation.

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