Iran identifies suspect in last week's attack on nuclear enrichment facility

Iran state TV has suspect as Reza Karimi, 43, allegedly born in Kashan, Iran.
January 2018 photo of Tehran, Iran
Tehran, Iran
Getty Images/ATTA KENARE

Iran on Sunday named a suspect in connection with the recent attack on its nuclear facility that damaged centrifuges.

State television named the suspect as Reza Karimi, 43 and showed a passport-style photograph of a man it said was Karimi and said he was born in the city of Kashan, Iran, according to the Associated Press.

Iran has blamed Israel for the April 11 attack on the Natanz facility, but the connection between that country and Karimi remains unclear. Karimi reportedly fled Iran before the attack, which reportedly damaged centrifuges at the facility. 

The entire incident comes as Iran tries to negotiate with world powers over allowing the U.S. to re-enter a 2015 nuclear deal that includes the lifting of economic sanctions.

President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the deal in 2017, amid concerns that Iran was not complying with the terms, put in place to stop Iran from stockpiling enriched uranium toward making a nuclear weapon. 

Iran has begun enriching uranium up to 60% purity in response – three times higher than ever before, though in small quantities, the wire service also reports. 

The TV report also aired what appeared to be an Interpol "red notice" seeking Karimi’s arrest. Iran said the attacks was a series of explosions, following earlier reports that it was a cyber attack.

The arrest notice was not immediately accessible on Interpol’s public-facing database. Interpol, based in Lyon, France, declined to comment, the Associated Press.