‘Huge explosion’ heard near Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility as regime claims it was ‘testing its air defences’ in exercise
- Bright light being seen in the sky near the Natanz facility in the Badroud region
- Unconfirmed reports suggest an unidentified drone has been shot down
- It comes as talks over returning to nuclear deal are being held in Vienna
A ‘huge explosion’ heard near a nuclear facility in Iran is reported to have been part of a military exercise.
There had been reports of a bright light being seen in the sky near the Natanz facility in the Middle Eastern country’s Badroud region.
But according to Iran Press TV and other news outlets, the Islamic republic was testing its air defence’s rapid reaction force.
The semi-official Fars news agency reported that the explosion was caused by a missile as part of a drill to test how quickly the country’s air defence systems could respond to a possible attack.
It came after earlier reports suggested an unidentified drone had been shot down above the region.
There has yet to be official confirmation of what caused the blast.
There have been reports of a bright light being seen in the sky near the Natanz facility (pictured in 2007) in the Middle Eastern country’s Badroud region
Iranian news websites, including Fararunews, stated: ‘Local sources have reported hearing a large explosion in the Natanz sky.
‘No official source has yet confirmed or denied the report.’
‘No exact details are available about this,’ Fars quoted the local governor of Badroud as saying.
It comes as talks concerning a return to the JCPOA nuclear deal are currently being held in Vienna between Iran and world powers.
The United States warned Saturday that it would not allow Iran to ‘slow walk’ international negotiations over its nuclear programme, a day after heaping blame on Tehran for the stalled process.
‘We can’t accept a situation in which Iran accelerates its nuclear program and slow walks its nuclear diplomacy,’ said a senior administration official.
The official said the United States was not yet planning to walk away from the talks in Vienna, but that it hoped Iran would return ‘with a serious attitude.’
Video previously released by the Islamic Republic Iran Broadcasting shows various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on April 11 at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility
Various centrifuge machines line the hall damaged on April 11 at the Natanz Uranium Enrichment Facility
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called for an ‘immediate cessation’ of the talks, accusing the Islamic republic of ‘nuclear blackmail’.
The Natanz facility has been the target of at least two attacks in the past two years.
Iranian officials blamed Israel for an explosion in April which caused extensive damage at the site.
In April, an explosion which Iranian officials blamed on Israel caused extensive damage at the site.
There have been around five explosions at the site in recent years, according to Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, former head of Iran’s Atomic Energy Organisation.
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