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Iran accuses Israel of June sabotage attack at nuclear site, says it caused 'no damage to equipment'

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Israel was behind a sabotage attack on an Iranian nuclear facility near the capital Tehran last month, government spokesman Ali Rabiei has been quoted by Iran’s state-run media as saying.

On June 23 Iran said it had detected an attack on a site in the city of Karaj around 40 kilometers (25 miles) northwest of Tehran.

The Atomic Energy Organization of Iran originally said the attempted attack on one of its buildings would be investigated but that there was no “loss of life or property damage.”

Satellite images published by several media outlets purported to show a building at the Karaj site, which had been damaged by fire and had a section of roof missing.

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“We have had no damage to equipment. There was small damage to a roof and the [satellite] pictures were taken when the roof was removed for repairs,” Rabiei said on Tuesday, according to Iran’s official news agency IRNA.

He said the attack was an attempt by Israel to thwart Iran’s ongoing indirect talks with the US and other signatories to revive the 2015 nuclear deal, which Tel Aviv is opposed to.

The Israeli government has not commented publicly on the claims it organized an attack on the facility.

In April Iran also blamed Israel for another alleged sabotage attack, on its uranium enrichment facility near the city of Natanz.

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The damaged car of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh after it was attacked near the capital Tehran. © AFP / IRIB NEWS AGENCY; (inset) Yossi Cohen. © Reuters / Gali Tibbon.
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A number of centrifuges were damaged in that incident, which occurred just after a new cascade of the machines were switched on, Iranian officials said.

Iran also held Israel responsible for the assassination of its top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who died after being gunned down in his car in November.

In recent weeks Iran has been discussing its nuclear activities with fellow signatories of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action during talks in Vienna, to revive the landmark accord signed in 2015.

Under the original agreement, which was later abandoned by then US President Donald Trump, Iran agreed to curbs on its nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief from western nations.

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