Iran is limiting access to inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency to its main uranium enrichment plant at Natanz because of what it claims was an attack on the site by Israel, diplomats told Reuters.

According to the exclusive report published on Thursday, one official said the standoff has gone on for weeks. Diplomats say that the dispute is in the process of being resolved, though it has caused tension in the indirect talks between Iran and the United States to revive the 2015 nuclear deal.

“They are provoking us,” said one Western diplomat, predicting access to inspectors would be renewed next week.

The April 11 explosion that tore through the Iranian nuclear site of Natanz, and which the Islamic Republic has blamed on Israeli sabotage, appeared to have taken around 5,000 centrifuges of the IR-1 type offline, a report released by the Jewish Institute for the National Security of America (JINSA) has said.

The report assessed that the blast took Iran’s nuclear clock back by almost two months, “effectively counteracting Iran’s major expansions of its enrichment capacity since November 2020.”


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