Iran: explosion near Natanz nuclear power plant a military “test”

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An Iranian air defense test on Saturday in the Natanz region of central Iran caused an explosion heard about twenty kilometers from the Chahid Ahmadi-Rochan nuclear complex, according to a military official and local media.

An hour ago, one of the region’s missile systems was tested to assess readiness on the ground, and there is nothing to fearArmy spokesman Amir Tarikhani said on state television. television.

The explosion was heard in the sky over the town of Badroud, 20 kilometers from the nuclear power plant, according to the official Irna news agency. “The residents of Badroud heard the noise and saw a light coming from an object which had just exploded in the sky of the city“, a witness told the agency.

The Iranian military’s military test comes as talks to save the 2015 Iran nuclear deal resumed in Vienna on Monday after several months of stoppage. Negotiations are taking place between Iran and the major powers still party to the agreement (Germany, France, United Kingdom, Russia and China), after the United States withdrew from the pact in 2018 under the presidency of Donald Trump.

Iran accused of blocking negotiations

This agreement offered Tehran the lifting of part of the sanctions stifling its economy in exchange for a drastic reduction in its nuclear program, placed under strict UN control. The United States, which participates only indirectly in the discussions, accused Iran on Saturday of blocking the negotiations while developing its atomic program, and warned that they could “not accept” this attitude.

On April 11, the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization (OIEA) reported an “accident” that caused a “power failure” at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, one of the centers central to the country’s nuclear program, accusing Israel of being behind it. It was in this factory that new cascades of centrifuges banned by the Vienna Agreement had been put into service the day before.

Israel, Tehran’s nemesis, has repeatedly stated that it is ready to use any means, including force, to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon capability, and Iran has carried out periodic exercises to improve the defenses around its nuclear sites.

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