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WW3 fears: Iranian nuclear facility hit by ‘terrorist attack’ – Tehran threatens revenge

Iran need nuclear deal ‘more than anyone’ says expert

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If follows the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist outside Tehran last November. Akbar Salehi, who the Iranian Atomic Energy Organisation, confirmed the attack in a message shared on a telegram channel run by Iran’s elite revolutionary guard.

He said: “Today’s attack demonstrates that the enemies of Iran’s progress and advancement in nuclear science, as well as nuclear negotiations, are in desperation committing terrorist actions against the nuclear technology at Natanz.”

Whilst Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful a number of regional powers are convinced it is trying to build a nuclear bomb.

The Natanz facility, much of which is underground, is one of Iran’s most important nuclear sites.

Mr Selehi added: “Iran reserves the right to respond against eh perpetrators, and those who committed the terrorist action. “

Iran

Critics accuse Iran of seeking to build a nuclear bomb (Image: GETTY)

Iran

The incident took place at the Natanz nuclear facility (Image: GETTY)

Earlier Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation reported there had been an “incident” at the plant.

Spokesman Behrouz Kamalvand added: “Fortunately, the incident did not cause any human injuries or leaks.

“The causes of the accident are under investigation and further information will be announced later.”

On Saturday Iranian president Hassan Rouhani announced 164 new uranium centrifuges had been launched at the site.

READ MORE: Iran warned it needs nuclear deal ‘more than anyone’

Iran

Iran insists its nuclear programme is peaceful (Image: GETTY)

These separate uranium isotopes which can then be used to provide nuclear power, or put towards nuclear weapons.

Mr Rouhani said: “Today, a chain of 164 IR-6 centrifuges was launched.

“It can provide us with products 10 times more than the former chain.”

Iranian nuclear facilities and scientists have suffered a number of attacks in recent years.

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Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated last November (Image: GETTY)

Iran

Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal and imposed new sanctions (Image: GETTY)

Last July a major fire broke out at the Natanz plant which the Iranian regime alleged was deliberate sabotage.

On November 27 Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Iran’s most senior nuclear scientist, was shot dead by a satellite-operated gun near Tehran.

Iranian authorities blamed Israel for the attack.

Between 2010 and 2012 four Iranian scientists were assassinated in bomb and gun attacks.

Israel, along with a number of Iran’s Arab neighbours, are desperate to prevent Tehran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

Negotiations have taken place in Vienna which could see the resumption of the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama in 2015.

Donald Trump, a fierce critic, withdrew the US from the agreement in 2018.

Iran

The Iran nuclear deal was signed in 2015 (Image: GETTY)

This was opposed by Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the EU; the deal’s other signatories.

Israel has warned it could use physical force to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear weapon.

The Iranian regime is demanding sanctions imposed by the Trump administration are now lifted.

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