Iran on Thursday formally blamed Israel for the weekend drone attack on a military facility in the Iranian city of Isfahan a few days after US officials speaking to the media said Israel was responsible.
In a letter to the UN Security Council, Iranian Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani said he wanted to draw attention to “further instances of the Israeli regime’s acts of terrorism and sabotage as well as violations of international law against the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
According to the Iranian account, the attack was launched with three Micro Aerial Vehicles (MAVs), small quadcopter drones that Israel has employed in attacks inside Iran in the past. The letter said the drones targeted a “workshop” belonging to the Iranian Defense Ministry and did minor damage after being targeted by air defenses.
The letter mentioned threats against Iran made by Israeli officials and how Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not deny Israel was behind the drone attack in an interview with CNN this week. “I never talk about specific operations… and every time some explosion takes place in the Middle East, Israel is blamed or given responsibility – sometimes we are sometimes we’re not,” Netanyahu said when asked about the attack.
The letter asked the Security Council to condemn the attack and said Iran has the right to respond. “The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its legitimate and inherent right, in accordance with international law and the United Nations Charter, to defend its national security and respond resolutely to any threats or wrongful actions by the Israeli regime, wherever and whenever deemed necessary,” it said.
The Wall Street Journal first reported that Israel was behind the attack, citing unnamed US officials who stressed that it came as the US and Israel were discussing ways to counter Iran’s military capabilities, hinting at potential US involvement. Iran’s Permanent Mission to the UN told Newsweek that if the US is involved in any such attacks, it means war.
“In Iran’s perspective, the use of the military option at any level means US entry into the war,” the Mission said. But the Mission said that “for now,” the possibility that the US was involved is “weak.” A Pentagon spokesperson told Newsweek they could “confirm that no US military forces have conducted strikes or operations inside Iran.”