Sabotage Attempt on Iran Atomic Energy Organization Building Foiled, Report Says

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President Hassan Rouhani listens to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran while visiting an exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, in April.
President Hassan Rouhani listens to the head of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran while visiting an exhibition of Iran's new nuclear achievements in Tehran, Iran, in April. Credit: ,AP

PTV, a pro-Iranian news Twitter account, said on Wednesday a sabotage attempt on a building of the Iranian atomic energy organization had been foiled.

The was no confirmation of the report from the Iranian authorities.

Iran has accused Israel of several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear program and killing its nuclear scientists over the past years. Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations. 

In April, Iran announced that they identified the person responsible for the blast at its main Nantanz nuclear plant as Reza Karimi, the state television network IRIB reported. The report said he fled Iran before the blast, which Iran blamed on Israel. 

The attack on Iran's key Natanz nuclear site was caused by an explosive device that was smuggled into the plant and detonated remotely, the New York Times reported.

On Sunday, negotiators for Iran and six world powers adjourned talks on reviving their 2015 nuclear deal and returned to respective capitals for consultations as remaining differences cannot be easily overcome, Iran's delegation chief said.

A hardliner, Ebrahim Raisi, secured victory in Iran's presidential election last week, replacing pragmatist Hassan Rouhani. But this is not likely to disrupt Iran's effort under Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all major policy, to rebuild the nuclear pact and break free of tough U.S. oil and financial sanctions.

The understandings that enable the International Atomic Energy Agency to continue monitoring Iran’s nuclear facilities expire Thursday. If Iran agrees to extend those understandings – which it doesn’t currently seem willing to do – that will indicate a desire to reach a new nuclear deal, Israeli officials said this week.

Israel fiercely opposes Tehran re-entering the 2015 nuclear deal with major powers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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