Middle East Desk
TEHRAN: A fresh round of talks to rescue the Iran nuclear deal was held in the Austrian capital of Vienna on Thursday amid rising geopolitical tensions following the attack on Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility.
After a blackout struck the Natanz enrichment facility in central Iran on Sunday morning, Iran accused Israel of the sabotage against its nuclear site and announced a plan to begin enriching uranium at a 60-percent purity, which has drawn concerns from European powers and the United States.
Though recent developments injected new uncertainty into the prospect of Vienna talks, diplomatic efforts continued to restore the 2015 nuclear accord, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), with lifting sanctions and nuclear issues topping the agenda.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Wednesday that the launch of more IR-6 centrifuges and 60-percent uranium enrichment was “a response to the evils” committed by other countries.
“You want to empty our hands in the negotiations, but we will enter the negotiations with a fuller hand,” said Rouhani, addressing Iran’s adversaries.
Tehran’s move could create more uncertainty, possibly prompting a reassessment of other parties’ positions on the Iranian nuclear issue.