ASSESSMENTS

What an Attack on Iran’s Nuclear Facility Means for JCPOA Talks

MIN READApr 12, 2021 | 21:58 GMT

Iranian flags fly along a highway in Natanz in June 2014.

Iranian flags fly along a highway in Natanz in June 2014.

(John Moore/Getty Images)

Iran’s need to secure sanctions relief in newly restarted nuclear talks will limit its response to the suspected Israeli attack on Iran’s Natanz facility. Any act of Iranian retaliation, however, will increase overall global scrutiny on the negotiations between Tehran and the West. Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility south of Tehran suffered an overnight electricity blackout early April 11 after an explosion reportedly destroyed the internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges. The timing of the incident follows the first indirect diplomatic engagement between the United States and Iran in three years, and comes amid ongoing tit-for-tat maritime and regional escalations between Israel and Iran. This further indicates the incident was intentional sabotage, with the intent to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program progress, as well as potentially spoil talks between Iran and the P5+1 (the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany), which are set to continue in...

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