Report: Drone Strike Behind Blast at Major Iranian Military Base


A file satellite image of the military complex at Parchin, Iran. (AP Photo/DigitalGlobe-Institute for Science and International Security)

The Thursday explosion at the Parchin military research complex south of Tehran was not an accident as first reported but rather the result of a drone strike, The New York Times reported over the weekend.

The blast killed an Iranian engineer and wounded another, and according to “three knowledgeable sources,” it was caused by quadcopter suicide drones that crashed into a building housing a research facility associated with Iran’s drone development program.

Iran’s Defense Ministry initially referred to the incident as an accident, but later stated that it was, in fact, not the case.

The Times cited its sources as saying that the strike was mounted from inside Iran and was likely launched not far from Parchin as quadcopter drones usually have a short flight range and the site is not adjacent to any of Iran’s borders.

The report noted that the attack “fits a pattern” of previous strikes that foreign media reports have attributed to Israel. Israel, for its part, has not commented on the reports of the incident in Parchin.

Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Commander Maj Gen. Hossein Salami warned Thursday that the Islamic republic will respond to the attack, but stopped short of blaming Israel for it.

Parchin is a large military complex located about 60 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Tehran. It is closely linked to the Islamic republic’s missile program and is also believed to house sites associated with the Iranian nuclear weapons.

While Iran denies any nefarious activity is taking place at the complex, it consistently denies International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors access to the site.

A massive blast rocked the Parchin base on June 26, 2020. The Iranian Defense Ministry said at the time that there had been an explosion at a gas storage facility in the “public area” of Parchin – not the military site, yet some foreign media reports insisted it was an act of Israeli sabotage.

Wednesday’s strike came only days after Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, a senior member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was assassinated in Tehran.

Khodaei was linked to a series of botched Iranian attempts to target Israelis overseas and the Times alleged in a separate report that Israel has told US officials that it was behind the hit.

Israel made no official statement following the report, which caused a string of Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi to threaten harsh retaliation.

To Read The Full Story

Are you already a subscriber?
Click to log in!