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Report: Natanz incident sets Iran nuclear activity back several months

Iranian flags fly along the highway on June 3, 2014 in Natanz, Iran [John Moore/Getty Images]
Iranian flags fly along the highway on June 3, 2014 in Natanz, Iran [John Moore/Getty Images]

The power failure at Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment plant on Sunday has set back the country's uranium enrichment capability by at least nine months, the New York Times reported.

The paper cited two US intelligence sources as saying that the accident had been caused by a large explosion that completely destroyed the independent and heavily protected internal power system that supplies the underground centrifuges that enrich uranium.

The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said that the explosion had dealt a severe blow to Iran's ability to enrich uranium and that it could take at least nine months to restore Natanz's production, the newspaper reported.

On Sunday, intelligence sources told Israel's Kan Radio that the power outage at Iran's Natanz nuclear facility will undermine Iran's ability to enrich uranium.

READ: White House says US not involved in Iran nuclear site incident

The sources explained that the damage to the Natanz nuclear facility is great and had affected various centrifuges, undermining the Islamic Republic's capabilities to enrich uranium.

Iran yesterday accused arch-foe Israel of sabotaging the Natanz nuclear site and vowed revenge for the attack.

The incident occurred amid diplomatic efforts by Iran and the United States to revive Tehran's 2015 nuclear deal with major powers, an accord Israel fiercely opposed, after former US President Donald Trump abandoned it three years ago.

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