A US official said Israel appeared to be behind the drone strike on a military plant in central Iran.
The raid took place on January 29 on an industrial complex near the city of Isfahan, the capital of the province of the same name in central Iran. Iranian officials said there were no casualties or serious damage, and Iranian media released photos showing the explosion at a building.
Reuters quoted an Iranian official as saying that Israel appeared to be involved in the attack on an Iranian military factory. Sources from the Wall Street Journal have made similar observations.
An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment on the raid, while Brigadier General Patrick Ryder, a Pentagon spokesman, said the US military was not involved in the attack on the plant in Iran.
The Iranian Defense Ministry said the raid took place at about 23:30 on January 28 (3h on January 29, Hanoi time) by a micro aircraft (MAV). “One UAV was shot down, the other two were caught in a defensive trap and exploded. They only slightly damaged the roof of a workshop, there were no casualties,” the agency said.
A local military official said the location of the attack was in central Iran and that the small size of the drone indicates the possibility that the attack was carried out from within the country.
Iran has not accused either party of ambushing its factory near Isfahan. Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian called it a “cowardly attack aimed at creating insecurity in Iran”. Congressman Hossein Mirzaie said “there is strong speculation that Israel was behind the raid”.
The raid came amid heightened tensions between Iran and the West over its nuclear program and protests in the Middle Eastern country.
Foreign Minister Amirabdollahian said raids like January 29 “do not affect the determination of Iranian experts to continue with the peaceful nuclear program”.
Iran has accused Israel of planning attacks using undercover agents. Iran in July 2022 announced the arrest of a spy group of Kurdish members working for Israel, accusing them of planning to blow up a sensitive defense industry center in Isfahan.
Iran has several nuclear facilities located in Isfahan province, including the Natanz plant, the center of its uranium enrichment program. Iran says the Natanz plant was vandalized in 2021.
Nguyen Tien (Theo Reuters)