A fire in an oil refinery... and an earthquake kills 3 people
Drone attack on a military factory in Iran
Screen capture from video of the fire at the military factory in Isfahan.
Part of the aftermath of the earthquake that hit Iran yesterday.
Iran announced that drones loaded with bombs targeted, early yesterday morning, a military factory in the central city of Isfahan, causing some damage to the factory.
The German News Agency quoted the Wall Street Journal as saying that US officials and informed people said that “Israel carried out the secret drone attack in Iran, and that the attack comes amid the US and Israel’s search for new ways to contain Iran’s nuclear and military ambitions.”
The announcement of the attack coincided with the outbreak of a fire at an oil refinery in northwest Iran, and a 5.9-magnitude earthquake nearby, killing three people.
A statement issued by the Iranian Ministry of Defense stated that "three drones targeted the military facility in Isfahan, and two of them were shot down, and the third drone apparently succeeded in penetrating the building, causing minor damage to its roof, and no one was hurt."
Iran's English-language Press TV broadcast a video clip on a mobile phone showing the Khomeini Highway heading northeast of Isfahan, and a small crowd stood watching an explosion and sparks appearing from the building.
Isfahan, about 350 kilometers south of Tehran, is home to a large air base built for Iran's fleet of F-14s and a nuclear fuel research and production center.
In a separate development, Iranian television said that “a fire broke out at an oil refinery in an industrial area near the city of Tabriz in the northwest of the country, and an earthquake measuring 5.9 degrees occurred, killing three people and injuring 816 others in rural areas of West Azerbaijan Province, And damaged buildings in many villages.
At the same time, tensions remain high between Iran and neighboring Azerbaijan, after a gunman attacked its embassy in Tehran, killing its security chief and wounding two others.
Azerbaijan is engaged in a conflict with Armenia over control of the Nagorno-Karabakh region, and Iran wants to maintain its borders with landlocked Armenia, which could be threatened if Azerbaijan seizes new lands during the war.
Last October, Iran organized military exercises near the Azerbaijani border.
Azerbaijan also maintains close relations with Israel, which angered Iranian hardliners, and has bought Israeli-made drones for its army.
And the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced the evacuation of the employees of its embassy in Iran and members of their families, two days after an attack by an armed man, which killed a security guard and wounded two others, which Baku described as a "terrorist act."
And the police in Tehran announced the arrest of a person suspected of being linked to the attack that took place last Friday, and the Iranian authorities condemned him, but stated that it appeared that “the gunman’s motives were personal, not political.”
The attack occurred amid growing tensions between the two neighbors over Iran's treatment of its large Azeri minority, and over Azerbaijan's decision this month to appoint its first-ever ambassador to Israel.
And the Azerbaijani Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced after the attack that it had summoned the Iranian ambassador in Baku to demand justice.
Videos captured by surveillance cameras, of which Reuters obtained a copy, showed the attacker storming the embassy building and shooting two men, before a third employee of the embassy controlled him.
Azerbaijan evacuates its embassy staff in Iran and their family members, two days after the armed attack.
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