Iran acknowledged that a weekend drone strike targeted one of its military facilities in the central city of Isfahan, but stopped short of blaming foreign or opposition groups for the attack.
Iran’s Defense Ministry said a drone carrying a small bomb hit the roof of a building late Saturday, while two other drones were intercepted and destroyed. She added that there were no casualties and there was no disruption other than “minor damage”.
A cellphone video broadcast by Iranian state television showed the moment of the explosion: a flash of light followed by a powerful explosion. The Fars news agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guard, released another video soon after, showing fire engines near the scene.
Iran’s official news agency IRNA said the same facility in Isfahan had had a “similar experience” before, but did not say when. She added that the drones used over the weekend were advanced.
The strike was organized at a time when international and domestic pressure on the Islamic Republic is increasing on several fronts.
Western governments have criticized Iran for supplying Russia with drones that are used in the war against Ukraine.
The same governments, like Israel, have also expressed concern about Iran’s nuclear program, vowing to prevent Tehran from developing nuclear weapons.
The Islamic Republic has also come under fire for its crackdown on anti-regime protests, which have been largely led by women, in response to the death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini, who died in police custody after being arrested for improperly wearing a headscarf.
Israel is believed to have carried out numerous operations in Iran over the past decade to sabotage the country’s nuclear program. These covert operations include assassinations of nuclear scientists and attacks on nuclear sites, as well as document smuggling.
However, Iranian media and officials have not blamed Israel for Saturday’s drone attack.
The head of Iran’s army ground forces, Kyoumar Heydari, did not comment on the incident, but said on Sunday that the country had made progress in developing various technologies in its defense industry.
“We are digging the old skin [production of] weapons,” he told his forces.
A US government spokesman would not comment on whether the attack came from Israel, but added that “no US military has conducted strikes or operations in Iran”.
Additional reporting from Colby Smith in Washington