Friday, March 24, 2023

Iran reports drone attack on defense facility

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Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei.

Anadolu Agency | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Iran’s Defense Ministry said that one of its factories was attacked by drones in the central city of Isfahan.

A statement carried by the state-run IRNA news agency says the attack occurred late Saturday and caused minor damage to a rooftop. 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.

Iran and Israel have been engaged in a shadow war for over a decade that has included covert attacks on Iranian military and nuclear facilities.

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

Parchin is home to a military base where the International Atomic Energy Agency has said it suspected Iran conducted tests of explosive triggers that could be used in nuclear weapons.

In 2021, Iranian authorities said they thwarted what they called a “sabotage attack” targeting a civilian nuclear facility near the country’s capital, as details about the incident remained scarce. They said the attempted attack against a building belonging to Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization “left no casualties or damage and was unable to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program.

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

Iran has always insisted its nuclear program is for purely peaceful purposes. U.S. intelligence agencies, Western nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency have said Iran ran 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 chooses.

Efforts to revive a 2015 agreement with world powers that placed limits on Iran’s nuclear activities ground to a halt last year. Both the U.S. and Israel have vowed to prevent Iran from ever acquiring nuclear weapons, and neither has ruled out military action.

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