Iran nominates suspect in Natanz attack and says he has fled the country

Tehran, Iran (AP) -Iran said on Saturday that it had nominated a suspect who had damaged a centrifuge in an attack on Natanz’s nuclear facility and fled the country before the sabotage occurred.

The extent of the damage caused by the April 11 disruption is unknown, but it is about allowing Iran to re-enter the tattered nuclear deal with the world powers and lift the economic sanctions they are facing. Because they are trying to negotiate with.

Already, Iran has begun uranium enrichment with a corresponding purity of up to 60%. This is a small amount, but three times as high as before. Iran’s response to sabotage has also fueled tensions throughout the Middle East. There, the shadow war between Tehran and Israel, the main suspects of sabotage, is still intensifying.

State television named the suspect 43-year-old Reza Karimi. He was born in the nearby city of Kashan, Iran, and had a passport-like photo of a man identified as Karimi.

The report did not elaborate on how Karimi could access one of the safest facilities in the Islamic Republic.

The report also aired what appeared to be Interpol’s “red notice” calling for his arrest. The arrest notice was not immediately accessible from Interpol’s public database. Lyon-based Interpol, France, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

According to television reports, “necessary actions” are underway without giving details to return Karimi to Iran through a legitimate route. Interpol’s supposed “red notice” includes Spain, United Arab Emirates, Kenya, Ethiopia, Qatar, Turkey, Uganda, Romania, and another country that was unreadable on the air and his travel history. Was listed.

The report also showed a centrifuge in the hall and what appeared to be caution taped at the Natanz facility.

In Vienna, negotiations continued on Saturday’s deal. The 2015 agreement, which former President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the United States in 2018, prevented Iran from stockpiling enough enriched uranium to pursue nuclear weapons in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. ..

Iran claims that the nuclear program is peaceful, but the West and the IAEA state that Tehran had an organized military nuclear program until the end of 2003. The US annual intelligence report released on Tuesday maintained the long-standing US reputation that Iran is not currently trying to build. Nuclear bomb.

Iran has previously stated that up to 60% enriched uranium can be used on nuclear ships. However, the Islamic Republic currently does not have such a ship in its Navy.

The attack in Natanz was initially described only as a power grid outage, but later Iranian authorities began calling it an attack.

“Thousands of centrifuges have been damaged and destroyed,” an Iranian official said in a state television interview. However, other officials have not provided that number and no images of the aftermath have been released.


The Associated Press writer John Gambrel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates contributed to this report.