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Iran vows revenge against Israel blaming it for explosion the country’s top nuclear site

IRANIAN Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif vowed revenge against Israel today for an attack on the country’s main nuclear site and said it would not derail talks over restoring Iran’s nuclear deal.

Iran has openly blamed Israel for Sunday’s blast at the Natanz nuclear site — the head of the country’s Atomic Energy Organisation said that it had been caused by a “terrorist act.”

Mr Zarif claimed it was an attempt to derail negotiations currently under way in Vienna aimed at restoring 2015’s Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — known as the Iran nuclear deal — and ending US sanctions imposed by the former administration of Donald Trump. 

“The zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions ... they have publicly said that they will not allow this. But we will take our revenge from the zionists,” he said.

“If they think our hand in the negotiations has been weakened, actually this cowardly act will strengthen our position in the talks,” he added.

Sunday’s explosion has set back Iran’s ability to enrich uranium by about nine months according to US and Israeli intelligence officials.

The attack came on day that US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin met Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv to discuss the nuclear talks.

In a statement after the visit Mr Gantz said: "We will work closely with our American allies to ensure that any new agreement with Iran will secure the vital interests of the world and the United States, prevent a dangerous arms race in our region and protect the state of Israel.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has refused to confirm or deny responsibility for the attack but said on Sunday that “the fight against Iran and its proxies … is a massive task. The way things are now doesn’t mean they will stay that way later on.”

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told the press today that the incident could be considered an “act against humanity,” adding that Iran would take revenge at the “appropriate time.”

“The answer for Natanz is to take revenge against Israel,” he said. “Israel will receive its answer through its own path.” 

A fire broke out at the Natanz nuclear facility last July which Iran claimed at the time to be an act of sabotage. Tehran also blamed Israel for the killing of the country’s top nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was shot dead in Absard in November. Tel Aviv has refused to confirm or deny any role in the assassination.

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