Iran blamed Israel for an incident at their underground uranium enrichment facility in Natanz at the weekend, and vowed to take revenge for what it called an attack.
The enrichment and centrifuge assembly lines in the nuclear power plant suffered a large-scale blackout on Sunday.
Behrouz Kamalvand, a spokesman for Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization (AEOI), said the incident did not cause any human injuries or leaks. He called it an act of “nuclear terrorism.”
But according to Israel’s public radio, the incident had caused more extensive damage than Iran had reported.
Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh told reporters that Israel was behind “the attack”.
“We will take revenge for these acts on the Zionists themselves,” Iran’s state-owned Press TV quoted Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying during a meeting of the Iranian parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Monday.
Israeli media outlets, quoting intelligence officials, said the country’s national intelligence agency, Mossad, was responsible for the incident.
On the same day the incident took place, visiting US Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin reiterated American support and commitment to Israel, its strongest ally in the Middle East.
“As a major strategic partner for the United States, our bilateral relationship with Israel, in particular, is central to regional stability and security in the Middle East,” Austin said after holding talks with Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz in Tel Aviv.
“During our meeting, I reaffirmed to Minister Gantz our commitment to Israel is enduring, and it is ironclad. And I pledge to continue close consultations in order to ensure Israel’s qualitative military edge and to strengthen Israel’s security,” he added.
Austin and Gantz agreed the two nations must work closely together to enhance U.S.-Israeli defense cooperation, reads a statement released by the Pentagon regarding the meeting.
The two countries already cooperate on ballistic missile defense and Israel flies the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.
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