Iran denies reports of uranium enrichment explosion

Iran has denied reports of an explosion at its uranium enrichment facilities near the city of Qom in the country's center-north.

News circulated last Friday that the Fordow plant, which was first uncovered by Western observers in 2009 and is believed to have operated 700 centrifuges since the start of the year, was the site of an explosion after former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Reza Kahlili first reported the incident on the website.

According to Eurasia Review Iran has since denied the reports, as media outlets in Israel and the US continue to maintain that the explosion occurred and significantly damaged the refinery's facilities.

British media have also reported that Israeli intelligence sources have confirmed the occurrence of the explosion.

The blast is believed to have affected facilities within a three mile radius, leading security forces to to shut down the Tehran-Qom highway for several hours and enforce a no-traffic zone with a 15 mile radius.

The Islamic Republic has responded to the reports by accusing both Israel and US of attempting to sabotage nuclear negotiations which set to be held during the next several weeks.

Reuters cites Saeed Shamseddin Bar Broudi, deputy head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, as calling reports of the Fordow explosion "Wester propaganda ahead of nuclear negotiations to influence their process and outcome."