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The South African government says it has noted with concern the incident at the Natanz nuclear facility in Iran on Sunday and the external factors that may have caused it.

The BBC quoted one of Iran’s top nuclear officials as saying a nuclear facility in Iran was hit by “sabotage” a day after it unveiled new uranium enrichment equipment, which caused a power failure at the Natanz complex, south of Tehran, on 11 April 2021.

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) said South Africa notes that this incident occurred as the Joint Commission of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), commonly known as the Iran nuclear deal, is meeting in Vienna.

JCPOA is responsible for overseeing the implementation of the agreement.

“As negotiations on the JCPOA continue this week in Vienna, South Africa hopes that the discussions will focus on the full and effective implementation of the agreement and not be overshadowed by any implications and consequences of the recent incident at the Natanz nuclear facility.

“It is crucial for all parties to continue the momentum created during the JCPOA discussions last week in Vienna, in pursuit of positive steps towards a multilateral diplomatic outcome,” said DIRCO.

According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the Iran nuclear agreement is a landmark accord reached between Iran and several world powers, including the United States, in July 2015.

Under its terms, Iran agreed to dismantle much of its nuclear programme and open its facilities to more extensive international inspections in exchange for billions of dollars worth of sanctions relief.

SAnews.gov.za

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