Iran keen to downplay Isfahan drone attack, says 'Israel link' not proven yet

Though Israel has not acknowledged its role, US media pin it on IDF missiles

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A day after 'drone attacks' in Iran's Isfahan threatened to blow up peace in West Asia, Iran has dismissed and downplayed Israel's alleged role in the incident, stating that there was no proof yet that there "is a connection between these and Israel." 

Though there are differing reports regarding the weaponry used - US officials hint at missile strikes but Iran claims they were small exploding drones - Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian said the drones took off from inside Iran and flew for a few hundred meters before being downed. "What happened last night was not a strike," Amirabdollahian told NBC News in Iran. "They were more like toys that our children play with  not drones."  Amir-Abdollahian was in New York to attend a U.N. Security Council session.

Amir-Abdollahian insisted that the vehicles caused no "damage and no casualties" to the semi-official Tasnim News Agency.

According to Iranian media and officials, a small number of explosions were heard over Isfahan in central Iran in the early hours of Friday. This, they claimed, resulted from air defences hitting three drones. Iranian officials also claimed the attack was carried out by "infiltrators", rather than by Israel.

Israel said it would retaliate after a strike on April 13 but has still not officially acknowledged that it was behind the attack in Iran in the early hours of Friday morning. 

Amir-Abdollahian said Iran was not planning to respond unless Israel launched a significant attack. "As long as there is no new adventurism by Israel against our interests, then we are not going to have any new reactions," he said but warned that if Israel did attack Iran, the response would be swift and severe. "If Israel takes a decisive action against my country and this is proven to us," he said, "our response will be immediate and to the maximum and will cause them to regret it."

However, the US media reports continued to pin the attacks on Israeli Defence Forces, stating that "the strike reportedly included three missiles launched by Israeli Air Force warplanes that targeted an air defence radar site near Isfahan that was part of an array defending the nearby top-secret Natanz nuclear site."

The missiles were fired outside of Iranian airspace, according to ABC News which quoted an unnamed US official.  

A report by the New York Times too said Israeli planes fired the missiles, and the attack "included more advanced firepower than initial reports indicated."

The US has refused to comment on the issue. "I’m not going to speak or speculate about any of the reports that are out there," Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said at her daily briefing. 


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