What we know about a weapons factory explosion

Drones targeted an Iranian arms factory near downtown Isfahan overnight, Iranian authorities said.

The blast caused only minor damage and no injuries, the Iranian Defense Ministry said. The ministry did not say who it suspected of carrying out the attack.

It came amid tensions with the West over Tehran’s nuclear work and arms supplies for Russia’s war in Ukraine. The country has also been rocked by months of anti-government demonstrations sparked by the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who was arrested by Iran’s Morality Police and died in their custody last September.

Videos on social media on Sunday show a massive explosion at the facility, which was reportedly used to manufacture weapons.

“Around 11:30 p.m. Saturday night, an unsuccessful attack using micro-aircrafts (MAVs) was carried out at one of the ministry’s workshop sites,” the country’s defense ministry said in a statement on Iranian state television, according to Reuters.

The statement said one drone was shot down, “and the other two were caught in defense traps and blown up. It caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building. There were no injuries.”

The attack “did not affect our facilities or our mission… and such blind measures will have no impact on the country’s continued progress,” the statement concluded.

There was no immediate admission of responsibility for the blast, but some Telegram channels blamed Israel for the attack.

Iranians walk past Iran's Shahed 129 drone
Iranians walk past Iran’s Shahed-129 drone on display during celebrations marking the 37th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution February 11, 2016 in Tehran. Drones targeted an Iranian arms factory near downtown Isfahan overnight, Iranian authorities said.
Atta Kenare/AFP via Getty Images

Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Sepah Cyberi pointed to Israel and its agents in Iran being behind the attack, warning “experience has shown that Iran will retaliate”. The New York Times reported.

An Israeli military spokesman declined to comment to Reuters when asked if Israel had any connection to the incident.

Others linked the blast to the ongoing war in Ukraine, after Iran was recently accused of supplying Russia with drones to attack Ukrainian civilian targets.

“War logic is unrelenting and murderous. It strictly accounts for the authors and accomplices,” Mykhailo Podolyak, a senior adviser to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Explosive night in Iran – drone and missile production, oil refineries. [Ukraine] warned you.”

Meanwhile, Russia’s state news agency TASS said the drone strike was carried out by the United States Air Force and “another country,” citing reports from Al Arabiya TV and Al Hadath TV.

Anwar Gargas, a senior Emirati diplomat, said the blast in Isfahan was the latest “dangerous escalation the region is witnessing”.

It “is not in the interest of the region and its future”, he wrote on Twitter on Sunday. “Although the problems of the region are complex, there is no alternative to dialogue and political solutions to avoid escalation and find solutions that help to reduce tensions and preserve the stability and security of the region.”

news week previously reported that President Joe Biden is not seeking any progress on reviving a 2015 nuclear deal with Iran anytime soon.

The deal, which then-President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, had allowed sanctions on Tehran to be lifted in exchange for strict containment on the country’s nuclear activities.

news week has reached out to the White House for comment.

https://www.newsweek.com/iran-drone-attack-what-we-know-weapons-factory-explosion-1777336 What we know about a weapons factory explosion

Rick Schindler

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