Iran nuclear chief says atomic program strong in AP interview

In Israel threat, Iran nuke chief warns of ‘harsh’ result if scientists attacked

Iran’s nuclear chief told The Associated Press on Tuesday that he hopes the atomic deal between Tehran and world powers survives, but warns the program will be in a stronger position than ever if not.

In a veiled threat to Israel, Ali Akbar Salehi also told the AP in an interview in Tehran that the consequences will be “harsh” if there are any new attacks targeting Iran’s nuclear scientists. A string of bombings, blamed on Israel, targeted a number of scientists beginning in 2010 at the height of Western concerns over Iran’s program.

Israel never claimed responsibility for the attacks on the scientists, though Israeli officials have boasted in the past about the reach of the country’s intelligence services. “I hope that they will not commit a similar mistake again because the consequences would be, I think, harsh,” Salehi warned.

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