Israel strikes an Iranian Munitions Site with Targeted Drones
Iranian officials said drones struck a munitions manufacturing facility in the central Iranian city of Isfahan overnight in what U.S. officials on Sunday said was an Israeli operation, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Tehran initially did not claim responsibility for the attack and said there was only minor damage to the facility's roof. Iran's Defense Ministry also said several drones were shot down by Iran's surface-to-air defense system. According to multiple reports, it is unclear if any of the drones survived the operation.
It was unclear exactly what the target of the attack was, but The Wall Street Journal reported that the site of the battle was adjacent to a site designated for Iran's Space Research Center, which plays a role in Tehran's ballistic missile program.
The attack comes at a time of great uncertainty in US-Iranian relations. The Biden administration has spent much of the president's first two years in office trying to revive the Obama-era nuclear deal signed by Iran, the United States and several European countries that was abandoned under the Trump administration. But White House and State Department officials, including the president himself, have recently indicated that the possibility that these talks will succeed has all but evaporated.
Such operations may therefore become more common in the coming months and years as the US and Israel seek to impede Iran's various programs to develop new and nuclear weapons through non-political and often violent means.
Meanwhile, cities across Iran have been rocked for months by large-scale demonstrations in response to the killing of a young woman in police custody. In September, 22-year-old Mahsa Amini was detained for improperly wearing a headscarf; she died after reportedly being severely beaten.
Her death sparked a wave of protests against the so-called "morality police" and the country's conservative Muslim government as a whole; these demonstrations continued, although the Iranian government responded with a brutal crackdown, including arrests and death sentences for some of those caught.
The US Congress voted bipartisanly in support of these protests, with conservatives rarely finding common ground with the left on the issue. European lawmakers did the same, triggering a wave of retaliatory sanctions from Tehran.
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