Authorities in Iran have insisted that the country’s military managed to disrupt the drone attack, which the regime in Tehran has blamed on Israel. Isfahan is home to a large air base and several nuclear sites, including Natanz which is at the heart of Iran’s uranium enrichment program.
Iran’s defense ministry said three drones were launched at a defense facility and two of them were shot down.
They stated that the third drone made it through their “defense traps” to strike the building.
Iranian officials have claimed that the attack caused only minor damage to the facility’s roof and no casualties.
The state-run IRNA news agency described the drones as “quadcopters equipped with bomblets.” Quadcopters, which get their name from having four rotors, typically operate from short ranges by remote control.
Iranian state television later aired footage of debris from the drones, which resembled commercially available quadcopters.
State TV-aired mobile phone video apparently showing the moment that drone struck along the busy Imam Khomeini Expressway that heads northwest out of Isfahan, one of several ways for drivers to go to the holy city of Qom and Tehran, Iran’s capital.
A small crowd stood gathered, drawn by anti-aircraft fire, watching as an explosion and sparks struck a dark building.
“Oh my God! That was a drone, wasn’t it?” the man filming shouts. “Yeah, it was a drone.”
Meeting later alongside his Qatari counterpart, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian criticized the “cowardly attack” when asked if it would affect the country’s nuclear program.
“Such moves can’t impact our nuclear scientists’ will and intentions to achieve peaceful nuclear energy,” Amirabdollahian said.
Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said he passed a message from the Americans to Iran that related to its nuclear program, without offering specifics.
Separately, Iran’s state TV said a fire broke out at an oil refinery in an industrial zone near the northwestern city of Tabriz. An IRNA report later blamed the fire on “wear and tear” of the site’s piping.