Iran says ‘no external aggression’ following mysterious drone attack

The Cradle, April 19, 2024 —

The incident was reported by western media as an Israeli attack on the Islamic Republic.

Iranian air defenses intercepted a domestic drone attack on the cities of Isfahan and Tabriz early on 19 April. 

Iranian officials said military and nuclear facilities were safe and that there was no damage. 

“The sound was related to Isfahan’s air defense systems firing at suspicious objects and we have not had any damage or accident,” said Iranian army commander Siavash Mihandoust. 

State news outlet IRNA reported that “the city and province of Isfahan are in a normal condition” after the downing of the three drones. 

Iranian sources told Al-Mayadeen that “no external aggression on Iran occurred after Friday midnight” and that “what is being circulated about an Israeli attack on Iran are lies and are part of a misinformation war.” 

Iran’s Al-Alam news site also confirmed that “no external” attack had taken place.

After the incident, the New York Times (NYT) cited three unnamed Iranian officials that an airbase in Isfahan was attacked, adding that the official refrained from mentioning who was behind the attack. Two Israeli officials told the NYT that Israel struck Iran early on Friday morning. CNN also cited a US official saying Israel attacked Iran. 

“Until this moment, there has been no air attack from outside the borders to Isfahan or other parts of the country … there was only a failed and humiliating attempt to fly quadcopters, and the quadcopters have been shot down. The news of the American media is not true … It seems that American media has dreamed that Israel attacked Iran,” Iranian journalist Hossein Dalirian said via his social media account. 

In response to a question from Iranian media on whether Iran will respond to this incident, an Iranian army commander said, “You have seen Iran’s response already.”

This incident comes two weeks after attacks by the Jaish al-Adl separatist militia against Iran, which resulted in hours-long clashes between security forces and the militant group.

The drone attack in Iran coincided with Israeli airstrikes on Syrian army positions in Syria’s southern province of Deraa. Hours before, at least 20 members of Liwa al-Quds – a pro-Syrian government faction consisting of Palestinian volunteers – were killed in an ISIS shooting and RPG attack as they were traveling on a bus in the Al-Sukhna area of the Syrian desert near Homs. 

Tel Aviv has vowed to respond to Iran’s Operation True Promise, which saw hundreds of Iranian drones and missiles target Israel last weekend as a retaliation to the Israeli strike on Tehran’s consulate in Damascus at the start of April. 

Israel’s allies, including Washington, have been calling for a limited Israeli response over fears of an unprecedented regional escalation. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asserted on 17 April that Israel will make its own decisions regarding the response. 

Iran has repeatedly warned since its operation against Israel that any response will be met with ten times the force of last weekend’s operation. 

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