An air-defense test on Saturday triggered a loud explosion near Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility, as nuclear talks with major powers stumble.
The explosion was heard in the skies over the Iranian city of Badroud, just 20km from the nuclear plant, the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) reported.
“Badroud residents heard the noise and saw a light that showed an object had just blown up in the skies over the city,” a witness said.
An image provided by Maxar Technologies on Jan. 8 last year shows Iran’s Natanz uranium enrichment facility, south of Tehran.
Photo: Courtesy of Maxar Technologies via AFP
However, Iranian army spokesman General Amir Tarikhani told state television that there was no cause for concern.
“One of our missile systems in the region was tested to assess the state of readiness on the ground, and there is nothing to fear,” Tarikhani said.
Israel has said repeatedly that it stands ready to use all means, including force, to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability, and Iran has carried out periodic exercises to improve the defenses around its nuclear sites.
Israel has been pushing hard for world powers to abandon talks with Iran on reviving the 2015 nuclear deal, which reopened in Vienna on Monday.
“A bad deal, which I hope they do not reach, is intolerable from our perspective,” Israeli Mossad Director David Barnea said on Thursday.
The US on Saturday said it would not allow Iran to “slow walk” negotiations, while ramping up uranium enrichment.Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.