DUBAI - A loud explosion struck a military industry factory near Iran’s central city of Isfahan overnight, in what Iran said on Sunday was a drone strike by unidentified attackers.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which came amid tension with the West over Teheran’s nuclear work and supply of arms for Russia’s war in Ukraine, as well as months of anti-government demonstrations at home.
The extent of the damage could not be independently confirmed. Iran’s Defence Ministry said the explosion caused only minor damage and no casualties.
Iranian media video showing a flash of light at the plant, which the official IRNA news agency described as an ammunitions factory. Footage showed emergency vehicles and fire trucks outside the complex.
“Around 23:30 on Saturday night, an unsuccessful attack was carried out using micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) on one of the ministry’s workshop sites,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement carried by Iran’s state TV.
It said one drone was shot down “and the other two were caught in defence traps and blew up. It caused only minor damage to the roof of a workshop building. There were no casualties.”
The attack “has not affected our installations and mission... and such blind measures will not have an impact on the continuation of the country’s progress.”
Seperately, IRNA reported early on Sunday a massive fire at a motor oil factory in an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz. It gave no information about the cause of that blaze.
Iran has in the past accused its arch enemy Israel of planning attacks using agents inside Iranian territory. In July, Teheran said it had arrested a sabotage team made up of Kurdish militants working for Israel who planned to blow up a “sensitive” defence industry centre in Isfahan.
An Israeli military spokesperson declined comment when asked if Israel had a connection to the latest incident. Israel has long said it could attack Iran if diplomacy fails to curb Teheran’s nuclear or missile programmes, but has a policy of withholding comment on specific incidents.
In Ukraine, which accuses Iran of supplying hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in cities far from the front, a senior aide to President Volodymyr Zelensky linked the incident directly to the ...