Iran says minor damage from June nuclear site sabotage, blames Israel

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The Iranian flag waves in front of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters, before the beginning of a board of governors meeting, in Vienna, Austria, March 1, 2021. REUTERS/Lisi Niesner

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DUBAI, July 6 (Reuters) - A sabotage attempt at an Iranian nuclear facility in June caused minor damage to a building but none to equipment, the Iranian government said on Tuesday, blaming the attack on Israel.

Satellite images appearing to show that part of a roof was missing were taken while the building was under repair, government spokesman Ali Rabiei told a news conference carried by state media.

"We have had no damage to equipment. There was small damage to a roof and the (satellite) pictures were taken when the roof was removed for repairs," Rabiei said, according to the official news agency IRNA.

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He said the incident was an attempt by Israel to derail talks aimed at reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, which Israel opposes.

"The Zionist regime (Israel) has carried out these actions ... to halt Iran and say that the world does not need to talk to Iran," he said.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office declined to comment.

Iran has accused Israel of several attacks on facilities linked to its nuclear programme and killing its nuclear scientists over the past years. Israel has neither denied nor confirmed the allegations.

Iranian state media said on June 23 that a sabotage attempt against the building of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization located west of Tehran had been foiled, with no "loss of life or property damage". read more

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Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Additional reporting by Jeffrey Heller in Jerusalem, Editing by William Maclean and Catherine Evans

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