Iran names suspect in attack on nuclear facility

Iran names suspect in attack on nuclear facility
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Iran on Saturday named the man it believes is behind the attack on its nuclear facility in Natanz that could set back uranium enrichment at the site for months. 

Iranian state television identified the man as 43-year-old Reza Karimi, who it said fled the country shortly before the sabotage attack occurred last week

Iran also said Karimi was the subject of an Interpol “red notice” seeking his arrest and that steps were underway to bring him back to Iran by legal means.

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The notice was not immediately available on Interpol’s website, and the agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment from The Hill.

The attack on Natanz, a major facility in Iran’s nuclear operation, sparked recriminations from Tehran against Israel, accusing Jerusalem of being behind the attack. The state television report marked the first time Iranian authorities publicly admitted that an explosion had hit Natanz.

Iran later announced after the attack that it was ramping up its uranium enrichment to 60 percent, moving it closer to the 90 percent needed to create a nuclear weapon.

The Natanz attack and Tehran’s subsequent enrichment boost raised questions over the progress of ongoing negotiations in Vienna over a return by the U.S. and Iran to the Obama-era nuclear deal.

Parties to the indirect talks have continued negotiating, with representatives calling the discussions productive. But no breakthrough has been made on a path to compliance for either side.

Washington maintains that Iran must return its uranium enrichment to the limits the deal set out, but Tehran maintains that sanctions that it was slapped with after then-President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE pulled the U.S. out of the deal must first be lifted for any changes to its nuclear program to be made.