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Iran’s Zarif: Israel made ‘a very bad gamble’ with blast at nuclear plant

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13.04.2021

Iran’s foreign minister said Tuesday that Israel made a “very bad gamble” if it believed its alleged sabotage at the Natanz nuclear plant would stop efforts to lift US sanctions on Tehran.

“If [Israel] thought that they can stop Iran from following up on lifting sanctions from the Iranian people, then they made a very bad gamble,” Mohammad Javad Zarif told a joint press conference with his visiting Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

“What they did in Natanz, they thought it would reduce Iran’s leverage” in the talks on bringing the US back into the deal, Zarif said. “But it makes it possible for Iran to legally, legitimately, and in order to make up for this terrorist stupidity, use any capacity it has at Natanz.”

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He said the enrichment plant would be made “more powerful” with advanced centrifuges.

Zarif additionally said that “acts of sabotage” and sanctions will give the United States no extra leverage in talks on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal.

“We have no problem with returning to implementing our JCPOA commitments,” Zarif said, referring to the deal with major powers, which Washington quit in 2018.

“But the Americans should know that neither sanctions nor acts of sabotage will give them negotiation tools and these acts will only make the situation more difficult for them,” Zarif told a joint press conference alongside Lavrov. File: Iran’s nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, Iran (AP Photo/Hasan Sarbakhshian)

The US, Israel’s main security partner, is seeking to reenter the 2015 atomic accord aimed at limiting Tehran’s program so that it cannot pursue a nuclear weapon — a move staunchly opposed by Israel, particularly Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

The US has said it is prepared to lift or ease sanctions that are “inconsistent” with the nuclear deal along with........

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