Iran’s controlled test explosion near the Natanz nuclear facility | Nuclear Energy News

According to Iranian media reports, as part of the air defense test, no damage was caused.

Tehran, Iran – There was a loud explosion near Iran’s main nuclear facility in Natanz, which had previously been the target of destructive attacks, but the official media said it was part of a controlled experiment.

According to reports, a major explosion and a flash of light in the sky occurred in Badrud, 20 kilometers (12 miles) from the location of the enrichment facility, at 8:15 pm local time on Saturday night (16:45 GMT).

Early reports speculated that the target of the surface-to-air missile defense system was a hostile object, most likely an unmanned aerial vehicle.

Nournews, a news outlet close to Iran’s security forces, confirmed that an anti-aircraft missile was launched and exploded in the air, but said it was part of a rapid response test.

State television later confirmed this statement, saying that the test was part of a regular exercise conducted under the supervision of the local air defense department. As part of the test, it is said that no damage was caused to the local area.

At the time of the incident, Israel repeatedly threatened Iran with military actions, promising not to allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons.

Iran insists that, contrary to Israel, which has dozens of nuclear weapons, it will never seek a nuclear arsenal. It also blamed two attacks on Natanz facilities since last year and another attack earlier this year on the centrifuge workshop in Karaj, Israel, accusing it of “nuclear terrorism.”

Expose differences

Senior Iranian military officials often responded to Israeli threats, saying that Israel would not dare to attack because it would face a destructive reaction.

Last week, when Iran and the world powers of the 2015 nuclear agreement reconvened in Vienna to restore the agreement unilaterally abandoned by the United States in 2018, senior Israeli officials threatened Iran again.

The seventh round of talks that ended on Friday was not optimistic, further exposing the differences between Iran and the West. The eighth round is expected next week.

Israel has always been the strongest opponent of the agreement. When former US President Donald Trump violated the agreement and imposed severe sanctions on Tehran, he cheered him enthusiastically.

After the United States withdrew from the agreement, Iran’s nuclear program has made significant progress. The country’s current uranium enrichment capacity is as high as 60%, which is much higher than the 3.67% upper limit set in the agreement.

At the time of the Vienna talks, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) announced that Iran has taken another step in advancing its nuclear work, now enriching uranium to a purity of 20% in the Faldo underground facility.

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