Iran fires air defenses at Isfahan base and nuclear site after drones spotted


DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Israeli drones launched an apparent attack on Iran early Friday, and the Israeli military launched air defense systems at a major air base and a nuclear facility near the central city of Isfahan. , in retaliation for the attack on Tehran. Unprecedented Drone and Missile Attacks About Israel.

No Iranian official has directly acknowledged the possibility of an Israeli attack, and the Israeli military did not respond to a request for comment. However, Tensions have been high since Saturday’s attack on Israel In the meantime war against hamas in the Gaza Strip and its own Air strikes against Iran in Syria.

speak at the meeting G7 Capri Island MeetingItalian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani said the United States had received “last-minute” information from Israel about the attack in Isfahan. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken did not dispute that but said: “We are not involved in any offensive operations.”

The apparent attack occurred on the 85th birthday of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Israeli politicians also made comments suggesting that the country had carried out the attack.

According to state television, anti-aircraft batteries in several provinces were fired upon amid reports of drones flying in the sky. Iranian Army Commander Gen. Abdulrahim Mousavi said the crew targeted multiple flying objects.

Mousavi said: “The explosion in the sky over Isfahan this morning was related to the air defense system shooting at suspicious objects, but it did not cause any damage.” Others believe that the drones may be so-called quadcopters, which are Commercially available quadcopter small drone.

Authorities said the air defense system opened fire on a major air base in Isfahan, which has long been home to Iran’s fleet of U.S.-made F-14 Tomcats, which were purchased before the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Tasnim News Agency released a video of a journalist who said he was in the Zeldenjan area southeast of Isfahan, near the “Nuclear Energy Mountain”. The video shows two different anti-aircraft gun positions, and details in the video match known features of the uranium conversion facility site in Isfahan, Iran.

“At 4:45, we heard gunshots. Nothing happened,” he said. “It’s the air defense system, these guys you’re looking at, and over there.”

The Isfahan facility operates three Chinese-supplied small research reactors and is responsible for fuel production and other activities for Iran’s civilian nuclear program.

Isfahan is also home to sites linked to Iran’s nuclear program, including its underground Natanz enrichment facility, which has been repeatedly targeted in suspected Israeli sabotage attacks.

State television said all nuclear facilities in the region were “completely safe”. The International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations nuclear watchdog, also stated after the incident that “Iran’s nuclear facilities were not damaged.”

The agency “continues to call on all to exercise extreme restraint and reiterates that nuclear facilities should never be the target of military conflict,” the agency said.

Since then-President Donald Trump withdrew the United States from Iran’s atomic deal with world powers in 2018, Iran’s nuclear program has rapidly evolved to produce enriched uranium near weapons-grade levels.

Although Iran insists its program is for peaceful purposes, Western countries and the International Atomic Energy Agency say Tehran was running a secret military weapons program until 2003. The International Atomic Energy Agency has issued a warning Iran now has enough enriched uranium to make multiple nuclear weapons if it wanted to – although the U.S. intelligence community insists Tehran is not actively pursuing nuclear weapons.

At around 4:30 a.m. local time, Dubai-based airlines Emirates and FlyDubai began making diversions in western Iran. They offered no explanation, but local warnings to pilots suggested the airspace may have been closed.

Iran subsequently suspended commercial flights from Tehran and its western and central regions. Iran later resumed normal flight services, authorities said.

Before and after the incident in Iran, Syria’s state-run Sana News Agency quoted a military statement saying that Israel carried out missile attacks on its southern air defense forces, causing material damage. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an opposition war monitor, said the attack hit government military radar. The Observatory said it was unclear whether there were any casualties.

This area of ​​Syria is located west of Isfahan and about 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) east of Israel.

Meanwhile, in Iraq, where some Iranian-backed militia groups are based, Baghdad residents reported hearing explosions, but it was unclear where the noise came from.

Incidents in Iran on Friday also raised concerns about a renewed escalation of conflict in the Middle East’s waters, with Iran-backed Yemeni Houthi rebels launching attacks on shipping over the Gaza war.

The British military’s UK Maritime Trade Operations Center has warned ships in the area that they may see an increase in drone activity in the skies.

“There is currently no indication that commercial vessels were the intended targets,” it wrote.

The Houthis have Launch at least 53 attacks The ship has seized one vessel and sunk another in shipping since November, according to the U.S. Maritime Administration.

Houthi attacks have declined in recent weeks as U.S.-led airstrikes in Yemen target the rebels, and shipping through the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has been reduced by the threat.

The apparent attack also briefly rattled energy markets, sending benchmark Brent crude above $90 before falling again in Friday trading.

However, Iranian state media tried to downplay the incident in the aftermath, showing footage of an otherwise peaceful morning in Isfahan. This may have been intentional, especially after Iranian officials have threatened for days to retaliate against any retaliatory Israeli attacks on the country.

“As long as Iran continues to deny the attack and deflect attention, and no further attacks are in sight, there is currently room for escalation on both sides,” said Sanan Wakil, regional director for the Middle East and North. Chatta Tom Institute’s Africa Program.


Associated Press journalists Nasser Karimi, Mehdi Fattahi and Amir Vahdat in Tehran, Iran; Bassem Mroue in Beirut; and Nicole Winfield in Capri, Italy, contributed to this report.


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