Part Of a New 'Containment Strategy,' Suspected Israeli Drone Attack in Iran
Analysts said that a suspected Israeli drone strike struck an Iranian military facility in Isfahan, Iran on January 28. It was part of a new effort by Tehran to contain it. Long-term efforts to revive 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and Israel.
The 2015 nuclear agreement between Iran and the world powers has been stalled after long-running efforts to revive it. According to the United Nations' Atomic Agency, Tehran has enough highly enriched Uranium to make several nuclear weapons despite the absence of a deal.
Iran is also believed to have increased its military ties to Russia, supplying Russian troops combat drones for use during the conflict in Ukraine. According to intelligence assessments by the United States, Iran could also send powerful ballistic and cruise missiles to Moscow.
There have been a number of incidents in Iran over the past year. These include cyberattacks and sabotage, assassinations and the mysterious deaths of members of the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, as well as scientists, engineers and scientists. Some of these incidents were attributed to Israel, Iran's regional foe." Israel's containment strategy was two-fold until last year: preventing Iran's arms and equipment transfers from Syria and Lebanon by targeting land and aerial convoys and trying to disrupt Iran’s nuclear program by targeting Iranian nuclear scientists and facility," Hamidreza Azizi, a visiting fellow at The German Institute for International and Security Affairs, said.
Unnamed American intelligence officers were quoted by U.S. media as saying that Israel was responsible for the attack on the Isfahan military site, which is home of a missile research center and production centre. The Pentagon denied that the United States was involved in the strike.
It is not clear how much damage was done to the military site. Iran's Defense Ministry stated that the explosion at the "workshop", which caused minor damage, did not cause any casualties. Social media videos showed an explosion at the scene.
On January 30, U.S. Secretary Of State Antony Blinken stated to reporters that he had held talks with Israel’s new right-wing government regarding "deepening cooperation to confront Iran's destabilizing actions in the region and elsewhere." Iran summoned Ukraine's charge-d'affaires in Tehran following a tweet by Mykhaylo Polyak, a senior aide of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy about an "explosive evening in Iran" and adding that Ukraine "did warn." Iran admitted that it sent drones to Russia, but claimed they were sent before Russia's unprovoked invasion in February 2022.
Moscow denies that it used Iranian drones to attack Ukraine, even though they were shot down in that country.
Alexander Grinberg, an Iran expert from the Jerusalem Institute for Security Strategy, stated that Israel's recent small-scale attacks on Tehran have had "limited impact" on Iran's military capabilities, as Iran is well prepared and has high levels of strategic and technical resilience.
Grinberg, a former Israeli military Intelligence Officer, said that the timing of the strikes was important because the hopes for the [nuclear agreement] are fading and tensions between Europe and Iran are rising." RFE/RL."The U.S. is also conducting their largest military drill right now, which could indicate possible activation Plan B."Azizi said that the Islamic republic is under immense pressure from both the outside and within itself from anti-regime protests. "It may calculate that not responding to these protests is more harmful to its survival than doing anything." Iran has in the past retaliated by attacking Israeli-owned ships with drones, and cyberattacking Israeli infrastructure. Iran claimed responsibility for a missile strike in northern Iraq's city of Irbil last year. Tehran claimed that it targeted an Israeli "strategic centre".