Eyewitness footage shows what is said to be the moment of an explosion at a military industry factory in Isfahan, Iran, January 29, 2023

Tehran Claims Kurdish Groups Involved In Latest Drone Attack

Wednesday, 02/01/2023

Islamic Republic says "equipment" used in the drone attack on the Ministry of Defense complex in central Iran last week was procured by Kurdish groups based in Iraqi Kurdistan region.

Nour News Agency, affiliated with the Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), claimed on Wednesday that parts of a micro aerial vehicle and explosive materials were ordered by a foreign intelligence service and smuggled into Iran from the Kurdistan region through difficult mountain passes and were handed to an intermediary in a border city in the northwestern part of the country.

The report added that the drone parts and explosives were then assembled at a modern workshop by a group of specialists and were used in the attack.

Nour News had earlier claimed that several members of a "Kurdish group" were trained by Israel for sabotage operations on the industrial facilities of Esfahan but were "arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence," a claim vehemently rejected by Kurdish groups. 

The late-January attack targeted Material and Energy Laboratory of Esfahan with what the defense ministry called “small drones.” Videos citizens sent to Iran International showed an explosion, although the government claimed its air defenses had fended off the attack. Small or quadcopter drones, however, cannot fly hundreds of kilometers to reach Esfahan, located in central Iran. If indeed the attack was carried out with small drones, it would mean operators were present on the ground, in Iran.

According to the Israeli weblog Intellitimes, the target of the drone attack was the "Iranian Space Research Institute" affiliated with the ministry of defense. The Jerusalem Post, citing Western and foreign intelligence sources, also wrote that contrary to Iran’s claim the attack on "advanced weapons development" facility was a "tremendous success".

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