According to Iran’s domestic media, “several explosions” rocked a central district in the city of Isfahan on Saturday [28 January 2023] night. Mansour Shishehforoosh, the Director General of Crisis Management in the Isfahan Governorate confirmed that “several disturbing noises [explosions]” were heard in the city, the reasons for which were “being investigated.”
However, subsequently, the Ministry of Defence of the Islamic Republic of Iran confirmed in a statement that one of its [defence centre complex] buildings in Isfahan had indeedbeen the target of a drone attack: “At around 22:30 hours on Saturday 28 January,a failed attack, using three drones, was carried outon one of the Ministry of Defence’s workshop complexes.Fortunately, utilising the predictions [calculations] and provisions of the complex’s air defence system, one of them [the drones] was taken outwhilethe other two were intercepted and duly detonated.”According to the statement, this attack causedno casualties and only “minor damage” to the roof of the workshop, which “did not interfere with the equipment or running of the complex.”
Mohammad Reza Jannashari, the Political and Security Deputy Head ofIsfahan Governorate also confirmed the explosion in an interview with statetelevision’s Khabar Network and said that the attack did not cause any casualties. The Islamic Republic authorities have not provided any more details about the attack. Footage posted on social media appeared to show explosions and the activation of the [Isfahan] region’s air defence system. In these images,a huge explosion is visible when what appear to be ‘quadcopter’-type drones hit the target building in the defence centre complex close to downtown Isfahan.
On Sunday 29 January, IRNA quoted one of its reportersas stating: “In this attack, three advanced ‘quadcopters’, equipped with ordinances, were used and the complex’s air defence system, upondetecting the approaching quadcopters, attempted to counter the drones with the equipment at their disposal – which included weapons and electronic warfare systems – and succeeded in downing one of them.”The same report statedthat one of the drones had reached its target and “hit the roof of the building.”
The Wall Street Journal, citing US officials and some expert sources, reported that the attack by three “micro-flying-objects”(drones) on a Ministry of Defence workshop complex in Iran was “the work of Israel”.Meanwhile, according to Deutsche Welle (theGerman public broadcaster) in a report on Sunday 29 January, the Israeli newspaper, Jerusalem Post – citing information from Western and foreign intelligence sources – wrote that despite Iran’s claims, the drone strike in Isfahan had been a “tremendous success”.According to this report, four explosions had occurred in Isfahan in an attack on a facility where advanced weapons are produced, the newspaper wrote. “These explosions caused damage far beyond the ‘partial destruction of the roof’ as claimed by the Islamic Republic in keeping with previous such cases.”
The New York Times also reported that the drones used in the attackon the military complex in Isfahan had most likely been flown to their target from within Iran. According to the report, the ‘quadcopter’ drones used in the Isfahan operation have a short range and therefore appear to have been flown from inside Iran to carry out the operation.
Benjamin Netanyahu, who has recently returned to power as Prime Minister of Israel, has promised to do his utmost to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.
On Thursday 26 January, the Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, had called for NATO to confront “Iranian threats” and urged member countries to toughen their approach against the “Iranian regime”. “The crisis has gone beyond the borders of Ukraine and the Iranian threat has now reached the gates of Europe,”he stressed during a visit to NATO headquarters in Brussels.According to Euronews, after meeting with the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, Herzog stated: “The illusion of distance does not stand anymore. NATO should take the strongest possible stance against the Iranian regime in the form of imposing economic, legal, and political sanctions, as well as adopting a credible approach to militarily deterring this regime.”
Two weeks ago, the former Foreign Minister and Prime Minister of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin-Jassim Al Thani, posted a series of tweets warning of”a possible US/Israeli military action that could shake the security and stability in the [Persian] Gulf region” and have “grave economic, political, and social consequences”. According to the Arabic-language newspaper, Rai Al-Youm, [Sheikh Hamad bin-Jassim Al Thani] has close ties to security agencies and senior decision-makers in the US and other Western countriesowing to his extensive business connections and role in managing Qatar’s foreign investments. “Iran’s military and political leaders have warned time and again that US bases in the GCC states will be legitimate targets of Iranianretaliation if any US-Israeli attack is launched against the country,” the same newspaper wrote on Monday 16 January, adding, “there is no question that the Arab Gulf States would be harmed most by any Israeli/US aggression against Iran, especially Qatar which hosts the biggest US military base in the region and perhaps the entire world.”
On the same Monday, January 16, the Kuwait Progressive Movement, Kuwaiti Committee for Peace and Solidarity, the Kuwaiti Democratic Youth Union, and the Labor Group issued a statement warning of a new war in the Persian Gulf region under the pretext of Iran’s nuclear program.
“The drums of war are beating,” the statement read. “News has been received that,the Prime Minister of the Zionist entity, Benjamin Netanyahu, has invited the heads of the[Israeli] security services to secret sessionsregarding astrike against Iran, in light of the backdrop of the deteriorating economic and political crisis [in Israel]. This follows in the wake of the disturbing statements made by the Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, about the collapse of negotiations aimed at reviving the Iran nuclear agreement, as well as news of the visit ofthe British Foreign Secretary, James Cleverley, to Washington for talkswith his UScounterpart, Anthony Blinken, on the ‘Iran case’ […]We warn of the danger of the outbreak of a new aggression in our region… We call upon all the forces for peace in the world to confront this dangerous trend and do everything they can to prevent the outbreak of war.”
Condemning the drone attacks on the military complex in Isfahan, the Tudeh Party of Iran warns of the serious threats such dangerous military adventures could pose to our homeland, the Middle East, and the Persian Gulf region, and calls upon all progressive and freedom-advocating forces in the region and around the world to raise their voicesof protest against these policies, which are pursued by the most right-wing and warmongering forcesin the region.
Tudeh Party of Iran
29 January 2023