US warns Israel attacks on Iran nuclear facilities 'counterproductive'


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Centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, south of Tehran, Iran, April 17, 2021.
IRIB via AP, FileCentrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, south of Tehran, Iran, April 17, 2021.

Israeli officials dismiss warning that attacks are encouraging Tehran to speed up nuclear program

US officials have warned Israel that attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities are "counterproductive" and are encouraging Tehran to speed up its nuclear program, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

Citing officials familiar with the private talks between Washington and Jerusalem, the report said that Israeli officials dismissed the warning and said that they have no intention of changing the strategy.

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The report was published ahead of the resumption of talks between Iran and world powers on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal that former US president Donald Trump withdrew from in 2018. The negotiations are scheduled to take place in Vienna starting on November 29.

Talks stalled in June following the election to president of hardliner Ebrahim Raisi.

According to the report, the US cautioned that Israel's attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities may be "tactically satisfying," but that Iran has been able to resume enrichment, often installing newer machines that can enrich uranium faster.

The US cited four explosions at Iranian nuclear facilities attributed to Israel and the killing of top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh by Mossad (national intelligence agency) operatives.

On a visit to Washington last month, Israel's Foreign Minister and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid told US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser that Iran is "becoming a nuclear threshold state" and stressed the importance of an alternative to returning to the Iran nuclear deal.

However, the Biden administration is committed to pursuing the diplomatic path in preventing Iran from crossing the nuclear threshold.