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Did Israel Launch A Devastating Attack On Iran’s Drone Industry?

Datelined yesterday, January 30, 2023, The Jerusalem Post carried an article claiming Israel was behind the devastating weekend attack on the Islamic Republic of Iran’s defense

industry plants at Isfahan. Isfahan is home to a large Iranian defense ministry production and storage facility, there was also a fire near a factory in the northern city of Tabriz.

Iran is known to have enough fissile material for several nuclear weapons and the attacks coincided with a significant earthquake in the region, so social media was rife with claims that the attacks triggered an underground nuclear explosion. However, Iranian media said that the area of Khoy, near Azerbaijan was affected by the earthquake on Saturday night. Khoy is located 1,000 km. from Isfahan.

Over the past several years, Iran has expanded its drone and missile manufacturing facilities, reported The Jerusalem Post. Jason Brodsky, a Middle East analyst and expert on Iran, tweeted: “This operation tonight targeting the MODAFL facility in Isfahan had a similar modus operandi to the one from June 2021 which attacked the TESA Karaj facility. In the latter, the drones were launched from inside Iran.”

Iran has numerous facilities linked to its drone programs, The Jerusalem Post reported, including sites in southern Iran at Chabahar and Qashm islands. Iran has been accused of using its Kashan base north of the city of Isfahan for training with drones. It has invited terror and militant groups from the region to train at that site.

Kashan, however, is some 200 km. north of Isfahan. It is not clear if there is any linkage between the reports on Saturday evening and Sunday morning and the Kashan site.

Iran has admitted that “some damage to the roof” occurred but claims that the incident has not resulted in any disruption of operations, apparently in contrast to other reports that described three large explosions.

The attacks came close on the heels of exercise Juniper Oak 23.2. The exercise was the largest U.S-Israel partnered exercise in history, said Deputy Pentagon Spokesperson Sabrina Singh, who held a news conference on January 26, 2023.

Juniper Oak 23.2 integrated unmanned aerial vehicles, strategic bombers, jet fighters and precision fires. U.S. and Israeli forces conducted long-range strikes, suppression of enemy air defense, electronic attacks, offensive counter and air interdiction, and air operations in the maritime domain. In four days, these troops dropped more than 180,000 pounds of live munitions, Army Gen. Michael "Erik" Kurilla, commander of U.S. Central Command, stated in a news release.

Again, social media was rife with speculation that some of the American units deployed to the Middle East theater of operations stayed after the official conclusion of the exercise to participate in the strike on Isfahan, but so far there is no proof or statement confirming that and it remains in the realm of speculation.

Such speculation was fueled by an report claiming Saudi media reported the strikes on military facilities in Iran were carried out by the United States and “another country,” presumably Israel, since Saudi media routinely refrains from acknowledging the existence of Israel. However, Al-Hadath, satellite TV channel headquartered in Dubai, UAE suggested that the second country was not Israel referring to allegations in Iranian media.

So, who attacked Iran?

If we apply the cui bono – who benefits – test certainly Israel and Ukraine have the most to gain from taking out Iran’s drone industry. Iran has supplied hundreds of drones to Russia to attack civilian targets in Ukrainian cities far from the front, and a senior aide to Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy linked the incident directly to the war there.

"Explosive night in Iran," Mykhailo Podolyak tweeted on Sunday. "Did warn you." “The logic of war is relentless and murderous. And issues hard bills to authors and co-conspirators,” tweeted Podolyak, citing “panic” in Moscow. Subsequently, Iran summoned Ukraine's charge d'affaires in Tehran to a meeting on Monday over Podolyak's comments, but the outcome of the meeting is not known at this time.

And, while Ukraine might well applaud the strikes on Iran’s drone industry, which could seriously disrupt Russia’s much ballyhooed spring offensive, Ukraine is not believed to have the capability to launch and sustain an attack thousands of kilometers from its home territory.

Israeli officials have so far declined to comment on the strike and rarely acknowledge action in Iran, however, the Jewish state is thought to have launched several attacks on nuclear sites in recent years.

“We continue to monitor the situation, but have nothing further to provide,” the Pentagon's press office told

Now, here’s where it gets interesting. The Pentagon said no US military forces had conducted operations inside Iran, but that doesn’t disavow actions – such as refueling aircraft – conducted outside of the territorial borders of the Islamic Republic, and we have read too many Pentagon and CIA statements not to notice subtleties like that.

Much as we pray for the destruction of Iran’s genocidal Islamic Republic, after Joe Biden’s ignominious retreat from Afghanistan, Biden is the last person we would want to have in charge of a new war with Iran.

The Capitol Switchboard is (202) 224-3121 we urge CHQ readers and friends to call their Senators and Representative to tell them that if Joe Biden wants to entangle the United States in another Middle East war no American lives or treasure should be put at risk without a declaration of war passed by Congress in accordance with Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the U.S. Constitution.

  • Iran’s defense industry plants at Isfahan

  • Israel

  • Iranian Drones

  • Ukraine Russia War

  • iran earthquake

  • MODAFL facility in Isfahan

  • Drone training

  • Juniper Oak 23.2

  • Congress declaration of war

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