Attack on military complex
Iran sends team of experts to Isfahan
1/30/2023 1:56 am
Who is responsible for the drone attack on a munitions factory in Iran? The regime has so far held back from accusations and is conducting an investigation. Meanwhile, the United States is not ruling out the possibility that Iran’s nuclear program could also be stopped by military means.
The Iranian government will send a team of experts to the city of Isfahan to investigate the attacks on a military facility. This was announced by the Security Committee of the Iranian Parliament on state broadcaster IRIB. In addition to military experts, members of the Security Committee should also take part in the investigations and then announce the decisions made by the political leadership.
On Sunday night, a Defense Ministry ammunition factory near the metropolis of Isfahan in central Iran was attacked with several small aircraft, the state news agency Irna reported. According to the Iranian Defense Ministry, it was a military attack. Three of the aircraft were destroyed by Iranian air defense. No one was injured in the attack.
Foreign Minister Hussein Amirabdollahian described the attacks as cowardly and at the same time ridiculous. Such attacks did not undermine the country’s military or nuclear achievements, Iran’s chief diplomat said, according to the Tasnim news agency. Amirabdollahian did not say who he believed was responsible for the attacks. In political circles, however, there is talk of the two Iranian arch-enemies Israel and the USA. Iran has several nuclear research facilities in the Isfahan area.
The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday, citing people “familiar with the operation,” that Israel was behind the attacks. Kyiv made a connection to the war in Ukraine. “The logic of war is inexorable and murderous,” Ukrainian presidential adviser Mykhailo Podoliak wrote on Twitter. “And he gives the authors and accomplices hard bills. (…) Ukraine warned you.” Iran has officially declared itself neutral in the Ukraine war, but there are many indications that Russia is using Iranian-made drones for its attacks on Ukrainian infrastructure.
USA: “All options are on the table”
Meanwhile, the US government has not ruled out military action to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. In an interview during his trip to the Middle East on Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Al-Arabiya that all options are on the table. When asked if that included a military option, Blinken didn’t rule it out. “All options are on the table,” he repeated. However, he also stressed that the preferred path was through diplomacy.
Iran had the chance to return to the international nuclear deal but turned it down, Blinken said. As early as the summer of 2022, US President Joe Biden had not ruled out an attack “as a last resort”. Negotiations to revive the 2015 Vienna nuclear deal between Iran and the West have been stuck in an impasse for many months. According to diplomats, Tehran blocked an agreement shortly before it was concluded.
The brutal repression of the recent protests in Iran had also shaken confidence in the negotiations. The USA has put the negotiations on hold for the time being, the EU has condemned the actions of the Iranian security apparatus and imposed new, severe sanctions.
Concern about nuclear weapons is growing
After the United States withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, Tehran no longer adhered to the restrictions agreed in the deal and denied IAEA inspectors access. Iran is currently enriching uranium to a purity of 60 percent. According to the IAEA, this is not significantly below the 90 percent required for nuclear weapons. Iran claims to use its nuclear program for civilian purposes only.
Just a few days ago, the United States completed a large-scale military exercise with Israel. According to media reports, it was the largest military exercise that Israel and the United States have ever held together. The background is growing concerns about Iran’s nuclear program. According to the Israeli military, the exercise was intended to counter a “variety of regional threats”. Since the Islamic Revolution in Iran in 1979, Israel has been the country’s declared arch-enemy – and vice versa.