Here are details about Israel’s drone attack on an Iranian military site in Isfahan

Here are details about Israel's drone attack on an Iranian military site in Isfahan

On Jan 29, 2023, an Israeli drone attack on an Iranian weapons factory resulted in a large explosion in the center of the city of Isfahan.

Iran claimed to have intercepted drones that struck a military industry target near the central city of Isfahan and said there were no casualties or serious damage.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied it was behind the attack, which Iran said caused minor damage, though this has not been independently verified.

However, the Wall Street Journal report claims that Israel and Mossad were behind the attack, citing US officials.

Video captured one of the explosions in Isfahan as security forces swarmed the area around the facility.

The strike came just as Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken was beginning a visit to Israel, his first since Benjamin Netanyahu returned to office as prime minister. The director of the Central Intelligence Agency, William J. Burns, visited Israel last week, though it is not clear anything about the operation in Isfahan was discussed.

American officials quickly sent out word on Sunday morning that the United States was not responsible for the attack. One official confirmed that it had been conducted by Israel but did not have details about the target. Sometimes Israel gives the United States advance warning of an attack or informs American officials as an operation is being launched. It is unclear what happened in this case.

Isfahan is the site of four small nuclear research facilities, all supplied by China many years ago. But the facility that was struck on Saturday was in the middle of the city and did not appear to be nuclear-related.

Images taken on Thursday by Planet Labs PBC showed the image, compared to earlier images of the workshop, showed damage to the structure’s roof.

Here are details about Israel's drone attack on an Iranian weapons factory
This composite image shows an Iranian military workshop before (left, October 11, 2022) and after (right, February 3, 2023) a drone strike in Isfahan, Iran. (Planet Labs PBC via AP

That damage corresponded to footage aired by Iranian state television immediately after the attack that showed at least two holes in the building’s roof.

The Iranian state TV footage, as well as satellite photos, suggest the building’s roof also may have been built with so-called “slat armor.” The structure resembles a cage built around roofs or armored vehicles to stop direct detonation from rockets, missiles, or bomb-carrying drones against a target.

In a letter to the UN secretary-general, Iranian ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani accused Israel of “an attempt… to launch a terrorist attack against a workshop complex” belonging to Iran’s defence ministry. He did not specify what evidence Iran had for this.

Mr Iravani said Iran reserved the right to respond “wherever and whenever deemed necessary”.

Israel is suspected of launching a series of attacks on Iran, including an April 2021 assault on its underground Natanz nuclear facility that damaged its centrifuges. In 2020, Iran blamed Israel for a sophisticated attack that killed its top military nuclear scientist.

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