A succession of massive explosions have devastated an Iranian government weapons complex in the central city of Isfahan, in what officials have described as a coordinated drone attack.
The midnight strikes caused a military industrial complex believed to be a production hub for drones and missiles used throughout the Middle East and by Russian forces in Ukraine to be engulfed in flames.
There was no instant confirmation as to who was involved, but the attacks appear to be consistent with a pattern of Israeli attacks against Iranian critical locations in recent years. At 11.30pm local time, a fire broke out at a fuel refinery in the northwest of Iran, at the same time explosions were heard in Isfahan.
“There was an unsuccessful attack by small drones against a defence ministry industrial complex and fortunately with predictions and air defence arrangements already in place, one of them [struck],” Iran’s national news agency posted on Twitter.
“The air defence system of the complex was able to destroy two other drones. Fortunately, this unsuccessful attack killed no one and minor damage was sustained to the roof of the complex.”
Iran continues to confront a domestic insurrection led by citizens who have transformed outrage over the death of a Kurdish woman in jail four months ago into a series of protests that have revealed the autocratic state’s vulnerability to persistent popular revolt.
Simultaneously, discussions to restart a nuclear deal with the Biden administration have stagnated as the country’s nuclear program comes closer to producing weapons-grade material, a threshold that Israel has promised to prevent it from attaining. In exchange for the relaxation of sanctions, Tehran committed to curtail its nuclear development.