Iran vowed to take revenge on Israel following an explosion at the Natanz nuclear facility on Sunday that reportedly crippled its ability to enrich uranium for the next nine months.
The explosion destroyed the independent internal power system that drives underground centrifuges at Natanz, two intelligence officials told the New York Times. American and Israeli intelligence officials told the Times that Israel was in part responsible for the operation, and Israeli officials told Hebrew media that the operation was executed by the Mossad.
“The Zionists want to take revenge on the Iranian people for their success in lifting the oppressive [economic] sanctions,” Iranian foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in a statement broadcast by the country’s state television. “But we will take our revenge from the Zionists.”
Zarif added that “the Zionists will get their answer in further nuclear progress.”
The blast came amid renewed negotiations between the U.S. and Iran regarding the latter’s nuclear program. The Biden administration is attempting to reenter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which was intended to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons capabilities. President Trump exited the deal in 2018, saying at the time that it “didn’t bring calm, it didn’t bring peace, and it never will.”
The Biden administration has indicated it is open to lifting some economic sanctions against Iran in order to return to the deal.
Meanwhile, the European Union warned against any actions intended to scupper current talks between the U.S. and Iran.
“We reject any attempts to undermine or weaken diplomatic efforts on the nuclear agreement,” EU spokesman Peter Sano said on Monday.