Iran’s attack on Natanz plants muddy the United States, Iran’s nuclear weapons negotiations

Washington (AP) -Iran’s attack on the Natanz nuclear facility casts a big shadow on the resumption of indirect negotiations between the United States and Iran over the revival of an international agreement limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

Neither Iran nor the United States have said that the case would crater the negotiations.But with an attack Destruction of a significant amount of Iran’s uranium enrichment capacity Adds uncertainty to the discussion set on Tuesday in Vienna.

Attacks give both sides a reason to solidify their position, yet each has an incentive to get the negotiations on track.

Iran wants Washington to lift sanctions that have hurt the economy, including measures unrelated to its nuclear program. It claims to lift sanctions before returning to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal, which then President Donald Trump withdrew the United States in 2018.

For the Biden administration, negotiations are a high-stakes bet that the Obama administration can save what it considers to be one of its major foreign policy outcomes and delay Iran’s program. Of closing it.

Iran accused Israel of destruction in important underground facilities, And the Israeli media is full of claims from unnamed officials who claim responsibility.

The Biden administration, on the other hand, has taken an approach of letting go, without praising or blaming the attack. The White House said the United States was “not involved” and “nothing added to speculation about the cause.”

This attack adds new complexity to the debate in Vienna. President Joe Biden’s Efforts to Facilitate Relations with Israel.. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu enjoyed close ties with Trump, who launched a “maximum pressure” campaign on Iran by abandoning the Iran deal and imposing strict sanctions.

The United States said it was prepared to lift or ease sanctions “inconsistent” with the nuclear agreement, as well as sanctions “inconsistent with interests” that Iran expected to come from agreeing to the agreement. Critics pointed out that many of these restrictions have a deadline and will expire by 2030, but the agreement removed nuclear sanctions on Iran in exchange for curbing its atomic program.

Those same critics, including many in Congress, expressed concern that non-nuclear sanctions such as those imposed for terrorism, ballistic missile activity and human rights abuses may be at the table of negotiations. The administration did not specifically comment on it, but said it would not offer Iranian sweeteners unrelated to the agreement.

Israeli officials have also expressed concern over fears that the United States will suddenly return to trading, and news of the attack was reported while Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin was visiting Israel. Austin and Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet in Brussels later this week with European and NATO allies who may come into contact with Iran.

When Austin and Blinken prepared to meet their counterparts in Brussels, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas expressed concern that the attack could affect the negotiations. “Not everything we hear from Teheran is a positive contribution to this,” Mars told reporters.

The destruction of the advanced centrifuge in Natanz occurred at a crucial time in the Vienna talks aimed at reviving the nuclear deal. The withdrawal of Trump and the reintroduction of sanctions put it at great risk, along with Iran’s decision to break its own commitment to the agreement.

A weekend attack on Natanz, one of Iran’s major nuclear facilities, occurred during the suspension of talks in Vienna.

The key to the agreement was restrictions on Iran’s uranium enrichment. Activity at the highly fortified Natanz facility built on the mountain was one of the most constrained.

Natanz has been the target of sabotage in the past. Discovered in 2010 and widely believed to be co-created by the United States and Israel, the Stuxnet computer virus destroyed and destroyed an Iranian centrifuge during the early years of Western fear of the Tehran program. ..

Last July, Natanz was hit by a mysterious explosion at an advanced centrifuge assembly plant, which authorities later described as sabotage. Iran is currently rebuilding its facility deep in the nearby mountains. Iran also accused Israel of that and the November killing of scientists who launched the country’s military nuclear program decades ago.

Israel has also launched a series of airstrikes targeting Iranian troops and their equipment in neighboring Syria. And Israel was suspected of attacking an Iranian cargo ship last week, which is said to function as a floating base for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps off Yemen.

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