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Iran nuclear site hit by blackout from ‘breach’ after uranium enrichment starts

Iran has claimed one of its nuclear sites has been "breached" after a blackout earlier today (April 11).

The Energy Committee of the Iranian Shura Council has said it believes the defect at the Natanz nuclear site was caused by a "breach" but hasn't commented further.

Officials say there are no injuries at the site, which is the country's most prominent sites for Iran's uranium enrichment programme.

Iran's Atomic Energy Agency spokesman Behroux Kamalvandi said: "The incident caused no casualties or contamination."

He added that "electricity was affected" at the plant, suggesting a blackout onsite and that the incident was under investigation.

The UN's nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, keeps a close eye on the Natanz plant.

Over the years, the plant has been plagued with issues.

Last July, the plant was hit by a fire, which the Iranian government put down to an attempt to sabotage its nuclear programme.

In 2010 its computer system was attacked by the Stuxnet virus – believed to have been engineered by the US and Israel.

Iran announced it had started enriching uranium at the site on Friday (April 9) – which breaches the Iran Nuclear Deal signed in 2015.

But Donald Trump abandoned the deal during his presidency in 2018, reimposing sanctions on the Islamic republic and slapping new sanctions on top.

It led Iran to respond by breaching the accord's restrictions as tensions rose between the nations, causing a frosty relationship.

Under President Joe Biden's administration, talks have resumed in Vienna to salvage the deal and rebuild bridges between the US and Iran.

President Hassan Rouhani stressed Iran was committed to stopping the growth and reducing stockpiles of nuclear weapons while overseeing the launch of the centrifuges at the Natanz plant, marking Iran's National Nuclear Technology Day.

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