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Kuwait paper says drones infiltrated Iran's airspace to spy on nuclear power plant

File picture dated April 3, 2007 shows an Iranian flag outside the building housing the reactor of the Bushehr nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian port town of Bushehr [BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP FILES/AFP via Getty Images]
A general view shows the Iranian nuclear power plant of Natanz, 270 kms south of Tehran, 30 March 2005 [BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP FILES/AFP via Getty Images]

A Kuwaiti newspaper has alleged that drones infiltrated Iranian airspace around the time of an explosion that struck the nuclear site of Natanz on Saturday.

Citing what it says are well-informed Iranian sources, Al-Qabas reported that unmanned reconnaissance drones penetrated Iran's airspace and managed to evade being shot down by air defence systems, which included Iran's Bavar 373 and Russia's S-300 missile systems.

According to the sources, more than five drones were on an intelligence-gathering mission to gather information on the nuclear facility and surrounding military sites, reportedly flying over the facility for over 40 minutes before landing in nearby villages.

However, Iranian media outlets including Nour News, which is said to be affiliated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), dismissed speculation that the explosion was an attack, insisting that it was caused by a defensive missile fired into the sky "with the aim of testing rapid response to a possible attack".

In April of this year, the Natanz site experienced an electricity outage in one of its underground production halls, which Tehran had accused Israel's Mossad spy service of being behind a sabotage operation and to disrupt the on-going Iranian nuclear deal, which resumed last week in Vienna following a five-month hiatus.

READ: Israel wants US to adopt military-first option with Iran

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