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Iran: Air defense test causes explosion near nuclear facility


A loud bang and a glow in the sky: An explosion in the sky near the Iranian nuclear facility in Natans shocked residents. Now the military has provided an explanation.

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The satellite photo from Planet Labs Inc. shows the Iranian nuclear facility Natans (archive)

Photo: Planet Labs Inc./AP / dpa

An explosion in the sky near the Iranian nuclear facility in Natans startled people in the area.

According to the state news agency Irna, residents of the town of Badrud, which is 20 kilometers away from the plant, reported a loud bang and a flash of light in the sky.

A little later, the Iranian military gave the all-clear.

It explained the explosion by saying that there had been an anti-aircraft test, a test of its own missile system.

Military: "There is no need to worry"

"An hour ago our missile system was tested in the region to check our combat readiness," said the military commander responsible for the Natans region on state television on Saturday evening.

"There is nothing to worry about." The commander denied speculation about an explosion in Natan's nuclear facility.

New centrifuges for uranium enrichment are manufactured in Natans.

The complex has been the target of multiple attacks attributed to Israel.

Israel wants to prevent Iran from being armed with nuclear weapons.

The plant's capacity had recently been increased, according to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Iran wants to enrich uranium up to 60 percent.

The international nuclear agreement of 2015 only allows the government in Tehran to enrich uranium by 3.67 percent for civilian use of atomic energy.

The agreement aims to prevent the country from building nuclear weapons.

Among other things, Iran undertook to reduce its uranium enrichment capacities and to allow regular inspections of its nuclear facilities.

In return, international sanctions were lifted.

In 2018, under President Donald Trump, the United States left the agreement and again imposed massive sanctions on Iran.

After that, the government in Tehran also gradually withdrew from the agreement.

Since then, Iran has continued to expand its uranium enrichment capacities and at the same time restricted the international atomic authority's control options.

US President Joe Biden has signaled his readiness for a new version of the agreement with Iran.

Negotiations are currently underway in Vienna to revive the agreement.

However, in the opinion of the USA and the European negotiators, these are not going well.

Fok / AFP / dpa

Source: spiegel

All news articles on 2021-12-04

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