Middle East/North Africa

Iran’s president: 60 percent uranium enrichment an ‘answer’ to sabotage

Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, said Wednesday that Tehran will begin to enrich uranium at higher levels as an “answer” to sabotage at the Natanz nuclear plant.

Rouhani said the move to enrich uranium at the 60 percent level announced on Tuesday was “an answer to your evilness” and vowed that the nation would “respond” if it is proved that Israel was involved.

“Apparently this is a crime by the Zionists. If the Zionists take an action against our nation, we will respond,” he reportedly said.

“Our response to their malice is replacing the damaged centrifuges with more advanced ones and ramping up the enrichment to 60 percent at the Natanz facility,” Rouhani added.

Iran’s Foreign Ministry blamed Israel for the attack a day earlier, calling it an act of “nuclear terrorism.”

Multiple Israeli news outlets suggested that the sabotage at Natanz, Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facility, was the result of an Israeli cyberattack.

U.S. officials have criticized the attack as unhelpful, given that talks are expected to resume Wednesday in Vienna aimed at bringing both Tehran and Washington back into the 2015 agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear capabilities.

In his remarks Wednesday, Rouhani once again called on the U.S. to drop sanctions imposed under the Trump administration when the U.S. departed the nuclear accord, while warning that Iran now walked into the Vienna talks with a “stronger hand.”

”The U.S. should return to the same conditions of 2015 when we signed the nuclear deal,” he said.

Tags Hassan Rouhani Iran Iran deal Iran nuclear agreement

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