Who Attacked Iran Last Night? Lots Of Disinformation Is Circulating
Last night, mainstream media reported a drone attack on an Iranian weapons factory in Isfahan. An official Iranian source claimed there were 3 drones and that 2 were shot down and the 3rd caused minor damage to the roof. The morning, there were reports that there were drone attacks on military facilities all over the country— as many as 7 (including an oil refinery) but mainstream media has stuck to just the Isfahan attack. The Wall Street Journal also reported a fire in the refinery near Tabriz (possibly just a coincidence, although that's a stretch). A report in the Jerusalem Post noted that the drone attack was “a tremendous success, according to a mix of Western intelligence sources and foreign sources.”
There were four explosions at the site, which can even be witnessed on social media, against a facility developing advanced weapons, and the damage goes far beyond the "minor roof damage" that the Islamic Republic is claiming and which it has falsely claimed before also in other incidents in recent years.
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 some problems between Iran and Azerbaijan right now and there have been laughable “hints” planted that Azerbaijan could be responsible for the drone attacks. Aside from Israel, the only countries that could conceivably have been behind the attack— especially if this turns out to have been the coordinated multi-city attacks David Frum is claiming— are the U.S., Ukraine or, slightly less plausibly, Saudi Arabia or another Gulf client state. The Times of Israel reported that the attack, targeting a stash of ballistic missiles, “was carried out by the US Air Force and another unidentified country.” This is from an unofficial Ukrainian source— and if you click it, you will conclude there was more than minor damage to the roof:
An AP report emphasizes that “Details on the Isfahan attack, which happened around 11:30 p.m. Saturday, remained scarce… Iranian state television’s English-language arm, Press TV, aired mobile phone video apparently showing the moment that drone struck along the busy Imam Khomeini Expressway that heads northwest out of Isfahan… That footage of the strike, as well as footage of the aftermath analyzed by The Associated Press, corresponded to a site on Minoo Street in northwestern Isfahan that’s near a shopping center that includes a carpet and an electronics store. Iranian defense and nuclear sites increasingly find themselves surrounded by commercial properties and residential neighborhoods as the country’s cities sprawl ever outward. Some locations as well remain incredibly opaque about what they produce, with only a sign bearing a Defense Ministry or paramilitary Revolutionary Guard logo. The Defense Ministry only called the site a “workshop,” without elaborating on what it made. Isfahan, some 350 kilometers (215 miles) south of Tehran, is home to both a large air base built for its fleet of American-made F-14 fighter jets and its Nuclear Fuel Research and Production Center.”
Iran seems pretty sure the culprit was Israel, a reasonable assumption, and one that the U.S. has all but officially confirmed. The Iranian perspective is summed up like this: “[E]ven though Netanyahu and his western-backed terrorist allies in northern Iraq have failed, there will be consequences. They both need to learn that punishment comes with failure too.”