An Iranian engineer was killed in a drone strike on an Iranian military facility outside of Tehran on Wednesday, The New York Times reported on Friday.
The report cited three Iranians with knowledge of the incident and one US official. The Iranians said that quadcopter suicide drones hit the Parchin military complex, which is about 37 miles southeast of the Iranian capital. The Iranian Defense Ministry initially reported the incident as an accident but later said they viewed it as an attack.
The drones exploded into a building used by Iran’s Defense Ministry for drone development, killing a young engineer that worked for the Ministry and injuring another person. Iranian sources said that the attack must have been launched from inside Iran since the quadcopter drones have a short range.
No one has taken responsibility for the drone strike, but Israel is suspected since it has launched similar attacks inside Iran. According to the Times, in February, Israel launched a quadcopter attack on a facility producing drones near the Iranian city of Kermanshah. In July 2021, Israel hit an Iranian nuclear facility in the city of Karaj with a quadcopter drone, which damaged cameras belonging to the International Atomic Energy Agency.
If Israel is responsible for Wednesday’s drone strike, it would be the second Israeli attack inside Iran in just one week. On Sunday, a colonel in Iran’s Revolutionary Islamic Guard Corps (IRGC) was gunned down in Tehran. The Times reported that Israel has informed the US it was behind the assassination.
Both incidents came as indirect negotiations between the US and Iran to revive the nuclear deal, known as the JCPOA, are stalled. Israeli officials have been pressuring the Biden administration not to return to the agreement, and the attacks on Iran could be an effort to derail the talks for good.