JERUSALEM — The Iranian international minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, vowed revenge in opposition to Israel on Monday morning, a day after a blackout at an Iranian nuclear enrichment site was attributed to an Israeli assault.

Mr. Zarif’s feedback spotlight the danger of escalation in a yearslong shadow battle between Iran and Israel. They additionally threaten to overshadow efforts in Vienna to encourage Iran to reimpose limits on its nuclear program in change for the lifting of American sanctions.

In a press release broadcast by Iranian state tv, Mr. Zarif was quoted as saying: “The Zionists want to take revenge because of our progress in the way to lift sanctions.”

He added, “But we will take our revenge from the Zionists,” in accordance with the published.

Mr. Zarif’s reported feedback adopted an influence failure on Sunday on the Natanz uranium enrichment web site that Iranian officers attributed to Israeli sabotage. The Israeli authorities formally declined to remark on its involvement, however American and Israeli officers confirmed individually to The New York Times that Israel had performed a task. Several Israeli information retailers, citing intelligence sources, attributed the assault to the Mossad, the Israeli spy company.

Two officers briefed on the matter instructed The Times that the blackout was attributable to an explosion that focused the ability provide for hundreds of underground centrifuges that kind the primary Iranian enrichment program.

The U.S. protection secretary, Lloyd J. Austin III, was anticipated to debate the incident in conferences in Israel on Monday along with his Israeli counterpart, Benny Gantz, and the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. It was unclear whether or not the Israeli authorities had given the United States advance warning of any operation.

Iran has lengthy maintained that its nuclear program is peaceable and geared toward vitality improvement. But Israel sees it as an existential menace, since Iranian leaders have usually referred to as for Israel’s destruction.

The occasions of Sunday might complicate efforts by the Biden administration to encourage Iran to return to one thing near a 2015 settlement negotiated by the Obama administration, by which Tehran promised to restrict its enrichment program.

The deal collapsed in 2018, when President Donald J. Trump reimposed sanctions on Iran, and Iran reneged on commitments to curb its nuclear plans.

Israel opposes returning to the identical deal, arguing that it didn’t impose robust sufficient or lengthy sufficient restrictions on Iranian nuclear exercise. Analysts had been divided about whether or not Israel’s aggression was meant to scupper the negotiations altogether — or to easily weaken Iran’s hand on the desk.

For years, Israel and Iran have been engaged in a low-level shadow battle.

Both have been accused of cyberattacks on the opposite’s territory. Iran funds and arms militias hostile to Israel throughout the Middle East, and has been accused of tried assassinations of Israeli diplomats internationally. Israel is believed to be accountable for the assassination of a number of Iranian nuclear scientists, most just lately in November, when a number one architect of the Iranian nuclear program was killed in an ambush.

Those assaults have escalated at sea in the past two years, as Israel started to assault ships carrying Iranian gas, and Iran appeared to reply by focusing on at the least two Israeli-owned cargo ships.

Both sides managed to comprise the battle, partly by refraining from talking too publicly in regards to the assaults.

But the general public assertion of Israeli involvement in Sunday’s episode raised fears that Iran would search to save lots of face by mounting a stronger army response than traditional.

“Once Israeli officials are quoted, it requires the Iranians to take revenge,” Danny Yatom, a former head of the Mossad, stated in an interview Monday with a radio station run by the Israeli Army. “There are actions that must remain in the dark,” he added.

But others expressed the sensation that Iran can be unwilling to escalate additional whereas there was nonetheless an opportunity that the United States may pare again sanctions on the Iranian financial system in change for Iran’s scaling again its nuclear program.

Chuck Freilich, a former deputy nationwide safety adviser in Israel, stated: “I don’t think the Iranians want a major confrontation at this point — I think they want a deal. And that doesn’t need a confrontation.”

In Israel, some additionally questioned whether or not the assault served a home function for Mr. Netanyahu.

The Israeli prime minister is standing trial for corruption and is struggling to kind a brand new coalition authorities after a general election last month that gave no social gathering an general majority. Some analysts say they consider {that a} very public confrontation with Iran may assist Mr. Netanyahu persuade wavering coalition companions that now will not be the time to deliver down an skilled prime minister.

“He may want to both build up his image and create a little bit of a foreign policy crisis, which then helps him solve the coalition crisis,” Mr. Freilich stated.

Myra Noveck contributed reporting.



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