Iran reports drone attack on defense facility in Isfahan

Dubai, United Arab Emirates — Drones attacked an Iranian defense factory in the central city of Isfahan overnight, state news agency IRNA reported on Sunday.

It contained a statement from the Ministry of Defense saying the attack happened late Saturday and caused minor damage to a roof. The report said three drones were shot down by Iranian air defenses.

The ministry did not say who was suspected of carrying out the attack.

Separately, Iranian state television said a fire broke out at an oil refinery in an industrial zone near the northwest city of Tabriz. He said the cause was not yet known, as he showed footage of firefighters trying to put out the blaze.

Iran and Israel have long been engaged in a shadow war that includes covert attacks on Iranian military and nuclear facilities.

Last year, Iran said an engineer was killed and another employee was injured in an unexplained incident at the Parchin military and weapons development base, east of the capital, Tehran. The ministry called it an accident, without giving further details.

Parchin is home to a military base where the International Atomic Energy Agency said it suspected Iran of testing triggers for explosives that could be used in nuclear weapons.

In April 2021, Iran accused Israel of attacking its underground Natanz nuclear facility which damaged its centrifuges.

Israel did not claim responsibility for the attack, but Israeli media widely reported that the country orchestrated a devastating cyberattack that caused a blackout at the nuclear facility. Israeli officials rarely acknowledge operations carried out by the country’s secret military units or its Mossad intelligence agency.

In 2020, Iran blamed Israel for a sophisticated attack that killed its top nuclear scientist.

Iran has always insisted that its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes. US intelligence agencies, Western countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency have said Iran had an organized nuclear weapons program until 2003.

The United Nations’ top nuclear official, Rafael Mariano Grossi, recently warned that Iran has enough highly enriched uranium to build “several” nuclear weapons if it so chooses.

Efforts to revive a 2015 deal with world powers that limited Iran’s nuclear activities stalled last year. Both the United States and Israel have pledged to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, and neither has ruled out military action.

ABC News

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