Isfahan drone attack linked to Iraqi Kurdistan, Iran state media reveals

On January 29, there were four explosions at the site, all of which appeared to specifically target a facility developing advanced weapons.

The explosive materials used to attack the Islamic Republic’s Isfahan facility on Sunday entered Iran via Iraqi Kurdistan by order of a foreign agency, Iranian state-affiliated site NourNews reported on Wednesday.

Several Iranian officials and Western intelligence officials have already named Israel and the Mossad as being behind the attack, which the Jerusalem Post was the first to report as being a “phenomenal success,” but the latest details, if true, would provide more background as to how the attack was pulled off.

According to the NourNews report, “the parts of small-scale UAVs that were used in a sabotage action against the Ministry of Defense workshop complex in Isfahan a few days ago, along with explosive materials, have entered Iran with the participation and guidance of Kurdish opposition groups based in the Kurdistan region of Iraq.

“According to the received information, on the order of a foreign security service, and after receiving parts of small-scale UAVs and explosive materials, these groups brought them into the country from one of the inaccessible routes in the northwest and delivered them to the service liaison in one of the border cities,” said the report.

Continuing, the report said, “the above parts and materials were assembled in an equipped workshop using trained forces and then were used for a sabotage attack against the workshop complex of the Ministry of Defense in Isfahan.”

Claims of Kurdish-Israeli collaboration

According to the report, in August 2022, a “terrorist group consisting of Kurdish opposition elements organized by the Zionist spy agency to explode in Isfahan industrial facilities, was arrested by the Ministry of Intelligence.

“The arrested terrorists, who were trained to carry out sabotage operations by Mossad agents in a third-party foreign country, were planning to blow up important facilities in Isfahan by transferring highly advanced explosive equipment and materials into Iran through the Kurdistan region of Iraq.”

Iran often manufactures raids of Israeli intelligence cells to cover up its failures to prevent attacks on its soil and to arrest and oppress its domestic critics.

To the extent that Tehran may also sometimes succeed at arresting Israeli or other foreign intelligence local-Iranian assets, the Post has gotten confirmation that the volume of anti-Iranian intelligence activities is so high that the Islamic Republic is overall failing decisively to prevent clandestine operations.

A separate NourNews report on Wednesday said that by studying the exploded components of the drones, the “manufacturer has been precisely identified and important clues have been revealed.”

Iran tries to cover up extent of Isfahan damage

On January 29, there were four explosions at the site, all of which appeared to specifically target a facility developing advanced weapons. Despite the Islamic Republic claiming otherwise, the damage goes far beyond the “minor roof damage” that it has also falsely claimed before also in other incidents in recent years.

Hours after the Post report came out regarding the attack’s success, Iran started to intensify its threats against Israel, despite trying to still pretend that the attacks on it had failed.

Israel is playing the incident mum, but most Western intelligence and Iranian sources have credited the Mossad with similarly successful attacks against Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility in July 2020, a different Natanz nuclear facility in April 2021, another nuclear facility at Karaj in June 2021 and with destroying around 120 or more Iranian drones in February 2022.

There are also few organizations globally besides the Mossad which are reported to have the same advanced and surgical strike capabilities displayed in the operation.

Multiple large drones with significant amounts of explosives were involved and hit their targets with pinpoint accuracy.

In each of the prior incidents, Tehran tried to initially pretend that the attacks failed and only acknowledged the extent of the damage when satellite photos or other evidence broke into the public sphere, outflanking their denials.

It is still unclear whether the advanced weapons which were damaged are related only to conventional warfare or might have dual-use relevance also to nuclear issues, such as certain ballistic missiles or explosives equipment that can be used for both conventional and nuclear weapons purposes.

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