Iran accuses Israel of 'lies to poison' nuclear talks

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Iranian flag flies in front of the UN office building in Vienna

VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran on Wednesday accused Israel of "trumpeting lies to poison" the Vienna talks on reviving Tehran's 2015 nuclear agreement with major powers and it said all parties in the negotiations faced a test of their political will to complete the job.

"Israeli regime whose existence relies on tension is at it again, trumpeting lies to poison Vienna talks," Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh posted on Twitter without specifying what Israeli comments he meant.

"All parties in the room now face a test of their independence & political will to carry out the job— irrespective of the fake news designed to destroy prospects for success," he added.

While it was unclear what news reports Khatibzadeh meant, a Tel Aviv-based reporter for U.S. news organization Axios on Monday reported Israel had shared intelligence over the past two weeks with the United States and several European allies suggesting that Iran is taking technical steps to prepare to enrich uranium to 90% purity, the level needed for a nuclear weapon.

In a statement after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on Tuesday said Iran was trying to buy time to advance its nuclear programme and major powers needed to come up with a different approach.

"Sanctions must be reinforced and there needs to be a credible military threat because that it is the only thing that will prevent Iran from carrying out its race for a nuclear weapon," Lapid said in a statement.

(Reporting by Parisa Hafezi in Vienna and John Irish in Paris; writing by Arshad Mohammed; editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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