According to the Fars news agency, an “accident” occurred at an Iranian nuclear facility, but there were no casualties or damage, according to the spokesman for Iran’s nuclear agency.
Behrouz Kamalvandi said there had been an “accident in part of the (uranium) enrichment facility’s electrical circuit” at the Natanz complex, a day after Iran announced it had started up advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges at the site, in violation of its commitments under the tumultuous 2015 nuclear agreement.
“There were no injuries or emissions,” he said, adding that “the causes of the accident are being investigated, and more information will be published later.”
Last July, an explosion occurred at a factory for advanced centrifuges in Natanz. The authorities blamed the incident on “criminal sabotage,” but have yet to report the findings of their investigation.
In a ceremony broadcast on state television on Sunday, President Hassan Rouhani inaugurated a replacement factory in Natanz, as well as a cascade of centrifuges for uranium enrichment and two research cascades. The new equipment allows Iran to enrich uranium at a faster rate and in greater quantities, in violation of the 2015 nuclear agreement.
In 2018, then-US President Donald Trump’s administration withdrew from the multilateral agreement and re-imposed harsh sanctions. Iran later retaliated by gradually withdrawing from the agreement’s obligations. On Tuesday, parties to the deal met in Vienna to discuss getting the US back into the agreement, bringing Iran back into compliance, and lifting sanctions.