A “huge explosion” shook Iran’s main enrichment facility at the Natanz nuclear site on Saturday, the Islamic regime has confirmed, in what Tehran claims was part of a military drill.
Several Iranian news outlets, however, reported a hostile drone was destroyed.
Israel, which never confirms attacks on Iranian sites or targets, was not blamed for the blast. However, the country’s deputy defense minister was coy when asked about the attack, saying he “can’t say” what happened.
“We don’t ask a man what he did at night, but we are currently trying to bring about a change in the motivations of the whole world through diplomatic means,” Deputy Defense Minister Alon Schuster told reporters on Sunday.
“Iran is a problem for the whole world, and not just the State of Israel alone,” Schuster said, adding that Israel had a duty to take whatever military action it deemed necessary to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
Spokesman for the Iranian army, General Amir Tarikhani, said the blast, which was felt 12 miles away, was part of a routine missile test.
“An hour ago, 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.
The United States warned Saturday it would not allow Iran to “slow walk” nuclear talks.
“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 nuclear talks in Vienna were suspended once again, a mere two days after they had resumed following a five month hiatus, with the U.S. blaming Iran for not being “serious” about negotiating.
The Natanz site has been the target of various mystery explosions over the years, many of which were attributed to Israel.
An April 11 blast at the site’s underground nuclear facility saw the power supply cut and thousands of centrifuges destroyed, reportedly setting back the country’s nuclear program by nine months.
A July attack on the facility, which belongs to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, was said to have caused “major damage” by experts.