Unsuccessful Drone Strike in Isfahan, Iran: US and Israel Deny Involvement

On Saturday evening, a drone strike on a defense factory in Isfahan, Iran’s central city, was reported by the Iranian Defense Ministry.[0] The attack was unsuccessful, as one of the drones was shot down by an air defense system, and the other two were caught in defense traps and blew up.[1] The statement released by the Iranian agency said that the attack caused minor damage to the workshop’s roof, but fortunately there were no casualties.[2]

The US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, has recently arrived in the Middle East, taking a tough stance against Iran.[3] At the same time, CIA Director William Burns held meetings in Israel.[4] Blinken has stated that all options are available on the table to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.[4] This follows a large US-Israeli joint military exercise last week, where over 7,500 troops were involved to test systems that could be used in a major war against Iran.[5]

It is believed that Israel was behind the attack, however, they have not commented on the strike.[6] It is reported that three quadcopters equipped with bombs were used in the attack, similar to a strike carried out against a nuclear centrifuge factory belonging to Iran’s Atomic Agency in June 2021 and one carried out against a Hezbollah facility in Beirut in August 2019.[7]

The Ukrainian charge d’affaires in Iran was called to the Iranian foreign ministry due to remarks made by a high-ranking presidential consultant that seemed to tie a drone attack that occurred recently in the middle of Iran to the war in Ukraine.[8] Ukraine’s presidential advisor, Mykhailo Podolyak, tweeted: “Explosive night in Iran, Ukraine did warn you.”[5]

Russia is providing sophisticated weaponries to Iran, and there is speculation that Tehran is considering supplying Moscow with more advanced missiles than the drones it is currently sending.[9]

The US and Israel have both denied any involvement in the attack. However, the Iranian foreign ministry has warned of “unpredictable consequences for peace and stability in the Middle East”, stating that those behind the attack must be held accountable.[10]

0. “Iranian military plant targeted in drone strike” CBS News, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/video/iranian-military-plant-targeted-in-drone-strike/

1. “Ukrainian Foreign Ministry unaware of cause of explosions in Iran” Ukrinform, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/3662306-ukrainian-foreign-ministry-unaware-of-cause-of-explosions-in-iran.html

2. “Iran says explosion in Isfahan caused by ‘unsuccessful' drone attack on arms factory” Middle East Eye, 29 Jan. 2023, https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/iran-explosion-unsuccessful-drone-attack-arms-factory

3. “Iran says thwarted overnight drone attacks on military complex” Anadolu Agency, 29 Jan. 2023, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/middle-east/iran-says-thwarted-overnight-drone-attacks-on-military-complex/2800658

4. “Israeli drones, warplanes strike Iran and Syria – World Socialist Web Site” WSWS, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2023/01/30/uadf-j30.html

5. “Facing Drone Strikes, Iran Warns Any U.S. Military Action Means War” Newsweek, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.newsweek.com/facing-drone-strikes-iran-warns-any-us-military-action-means-war-1777609

6. “Israel Responsible For Drone Attack On Iranian Weapons Factory” OilPrice.com, 30 Jan. 2023, https://oilprice.com/Latest-Energy-News/World-News/Israel-Responsible-For-Drone-Attack-On-Iranian-Weapons-Factory.html

7. “Iran attacks its own military facilities, the New York Times says” Trend News Agency, 29 Jan. 2023, https://en.trend.az/iran/politics/3702194.html

8. “Iran Condemns Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Remarks As Suspicious, Provocative – Iran Front Page” Iran Front Page – IFP News, 30 Jan. 2023, https://ifpnews.com/iran-condemns-ukrainian-presidential-advisor-remarks-suspicious-provocative/

9. “Blinken, Netanyahu discuss support for Ukraine in Jerusalem” Ukrinform, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.ukrinform.net/rubric-polytics/3662323-blinken-netanyahu-discuss-support-for-ukraine-in-jerusalem.html

10. “Iran says drones attacked military factory amid Israel tensions” NBC News, 30 Jan. 2023, https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/iran-drone-attack-military-factory-israel-tensions-rcna68114