Iran says drone assault targets protection facility in Isfahan


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Bomb-carrying drones focused an Iranian protection manufacturing facility within the central metropolis of Isfahan in a single day, authorities stated early Sunday, inflicting some harm on the plant amid heightened regional and worldwide tensions engulfing the Islamic Republic.

The Iranian Protection Ministry supplied no info on who it suspected carried out the assault, which got here as a refinery fireplace individually broke out within the nation’s northwest and a 5.9-magnitude earthquake struck close by, killing two folks.

Nevertheless, Tehran has been focused in suspected Israeli drone strikes amid a shadow warfare with its Mideast rival as its nuclear take care of world powers collapsed. In the meantime, tensions additionally stay excessive with neighboring Azerbaijan after a gunman attacked that country’s embassy in Tehran, killing its safety chief and wounding two others.

Particulars on the Isfahan assault, which occurred round 11:30 p.m. Saturday, remained scarce. A Protection Ministry assertion described three drones being launched on the facility, with two of them efficiently shot down. A 3rd apparently made it by way of to strike the constructing, inflicting “minor harm” to its roof and wounding nobody, the ministry stated.

Iranian state tv’s English-language arm, Press TV, aired cell phone video apparently exhibiting the second that drone struck alongside the busy Imam Khomeini Expressway that heads northeast out of Isfahan, one in all a number of methods for drivers to go to the holy metropolis of Qom and Tehran, Iran’s capital. A small crowd stood gathered, possible drawn by anti-aircraft fireplace, watching as an explosion and sparks struck a darkish constructing. These there fled after the strike.

The Protection Ministry solely referred to as the location a “workshop,” with out elaborating on what it made. Isfahan, some 350 kilometers (215 miles) south of Tehran, is house to each a big air base constructed for its fleet of American-made F-14 fighter jets and its Nuclear Gasoline Analysis and Manufacturing Heart.

Individually, Iran’s state TV stated a hearth broke out at an oil refinery in an industrial zone close to the northwestern metropolis of Tabriz. It stated the trigger was not but recognized, because it confirmed footage of firefighters making an attempt to extinguish the blaze.

State TV additionally stated the magnitude-5.9 earthquake killed two folks and injured some 580 extra in rural areas in West Azerbaijan province, damaging buildings in lots of villages.

Iran and Israel have lengthy been engaged in a shadow warfare that has included covert assaults on Iranian navy and nuclear amenities.

Final 12 months, Iran stated an engineer was killed and one other worker was wounded in an unexplained incident on the Parchin navy and weapons growth base east of the capital, Tehran. The ministry referred to as it an accident, with out offering additional particulars.

Parchin is house to a navy base the place the Worldwide Atomic Power Company has stated it suspected Iran performed exams of explosive triggers that might be utilized in nuclear weapons.

In April 2021, Iran blamed Israel for an assault on its underground Natanz nuclear facility that broken its centrifuges.

Israel has not claimed accountability for the assault, however Israeli media broadly reported that the nation had orchestrated a devastating cyberattack that triggered a blackout on the nuclear facility. Israeli officers not often acknowledge operations carried out by the nation’s secret navy items or its Mossad intelligence company.

In 2020, Iran blamed Israel for a classy assault that killed its top nuclear scientist.

Iran has at all times insisted its nuclear program is for purely peaceable functions. U.S. intelligence businesses, Western nations and the Worldwide Atomic Power Company have stated Iran ran an organized nuclear weapons program till 2003.

The United Nations’ high nuclear official, Rafael Mariano Grossi, recently warned that Iran has sufficient extremely enriched uranium to construct “a number of” nuclear weapons if it chooses.

Efforts to revive a 2015 settlement with world powers that positioned limits on Iran’s nuclear actions floor to a halt final 12 months. Each the U.S. and Israel have vowed to stop Iran from ever buying nuclear weapons, and neither has dominated out navy motion.

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