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Attack on Iran’s Natanz plant overshadows renewed US, Iran nuke talks

18 7 0
13.04.2021

WASHINGTON (AP) — The attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility is casting a major shadow over Tuesday’s resumption of indirect talks between the US and Iran over the resurrection of the international accord limiting Iran’s nuclear program.

Neither Iran nor the US say the incident will crater the negotiations. But the attack and the destruction of a significant amount of Iran’s uranium enrichment capability add uncertainty to the discussions in Vienna.

The attack gives both sides reason to harden their positions, yet each has incentives to keep the talks on track.

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Iran wants Washington to lift sanctions that have contributed to damaging its economy, including measures not related to its nuclear program. It insists that the sanctions be lifted before it returns to compliance with the 2015 nuclear agreement that then-President Donald Trump pulled the US out of in 2018.

For the Biden administration, the talks are a high-stakes gamble that it can salvage what the Obama administration considered one of its prime foreign policy achievements and slow Iran’s programs, even as critics claim the accord had given Iran a pathway to a nuclear weapon instead of closing it off.

Iran has blamed Israel for the destruction at an important underground facility, and Israeli media has been filled with claims from unnamed officials claiming responsibility.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has taken a hand’s-off approach, neither praising nor condemning the attack. The White House said........

© The Times of Israel


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