Iran has warned that an attack on its main nuclear enrichment site at Natanz affects ongoing negotiations in Vienna over its tattered atomic deal with world powers.
Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif’s remarks, alongside visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, come as the US has insisted it had nothing to do with the sabotage Sunday at the Natanz nuclear facility. While not claiming the attack, Israel is widely believed to have carried out the still-unexplained assault that damaged centrifuges there.
“Americans should know that neither sanctions nor sabotage actions would provide them with an instrument for talks,” Zarif said in Tehran. “They should know that these actions would only make the situation difficult for them.”
Kayhan, the hard-line Tehran newspaper, urged Iran to “walk out of the Vienna talks, suspend all nuclear commitments, retaliate against Israel and identify and dismantle the domestic infiltration network behind the sabotage.”
“Despite evidence that shows the role of the US as main instigator of nuclear sabotage against Iran, unfortunately some statesmen, by purging the US of responsibility, (aid) Washington’s crimes against the people of Iran,” the paper said in Tuesday’s editions.
Such a walkout remains unlikely as the administration of President Hassan Rouhani, whose main diplomatic achievement was the 2015 accord, hopes to get the US to rejoin it and provide desperately needed sanctions relief.