Iran confirms fire-damaged building was centrifuge facility

Iran confirms fire-damaged building was centrifuge facility
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Iran's government confirmed Sunday that a building damaged by fire at a nuclear facility within the country in recent days was used for centrifuge assembly after previously downplaying the location's significance.

The Associated Press reported Sunday that a spokesman for the country's top nuclear agency confirmed that the building had been completed as recently as 2018 and explained that its purpose was for the development of advanced centrifuges used for refining nuclear materials.

“More advanced centrifuge machines were intended to be built there,” the spokesperson reportedly said.

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Damage to the facility, which the Iranian government had previously referred to as a "shed," could “possibly cause a delay in development and production of advanced centrifuge machines in the medium term," the spokesperson added, according to the AP.

Iran has suggested that Israeli or U.S. interference may have been involved in the fire but has not directly blamed either country for the damage. A spokesperson for Israel's defense ministry stated after the incident that all accidents or other incidents at Iranian nuclear facilities were not "necessarily" linked to Israel's military.

“Not every incident that transpires in Iran necessarily has something to do with us," said the country's defense minister, Benny Gantz.

“All those systems are complex, they have very high safety constraints and I’m not sure they always know how to maintain them,” he added, according to Reuters.