Home » today » World » Israel – Iran: 6 keys to understanding the latest Israeli attack on Iranian territory

Israel – Iran: 6 keys to understanding the latest Israeli attack on Iranian territory

image copyrightEPA

  • Author, Sean Seddon
  • Role, BBC News
  • April 19, 2024

US officials said Israel attacked Iran with a missile early Friday, in what appears to be an escalation in tension between the two countries.

There are conflicting reports about the type and magnitude of the attack in the Isfahan region.

The spokesman for Iran’s National Cyberspace Center, Hossein Dalirian, denied that there had been a missile attack.

“There was only one failed and humiliating attempt to fly quadcopters (drones) and the quadcopters have also been shot down,” he said on Twitter.

The attack comes after weeks of increased tension between these two regional rivals, which has seen an Israeli attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound in Syria and an unprecedented attack by Iran against Israel with drones and missiles.

These are the keys to the last incident.

Caption, Iranians marched to condemn the attack in Isfahan.

1. What type of attack was it?

Israel routinely does not confirm its military actions, many of which target Iranian-backed armed groups in Syria and Iraq.

However, US officials have confirmed to BBC partner CBS News that an Israeli missile hit Iran in the early hours of Friday.

It is not clear what type of weapons were used in the attack or where they were launched from.

US sources indicated that the attack was carried out with a missile, while Iran claimed that it was carried out with small drones.

The Iranian government strictly controls access to the country. The BBC does not have direct access to the central Isfahan region, where this incident occurred during the early hours of Friday.

2. What damage was caused?

Some Iranian officials and media outlets have confirmed that there was an attempted attack, but downplayed it. No casualties have been reported.

Iran’s Fars news agency reported that explosions had been heard near a military base and that air defense systems had been activated.

An Iranian state channel quoted a general as saying in Isfahan that the explosions heard in the area were “due to air defense firing at suspicious objects” and that no damage had been done.

Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency, close to Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, published video of a nuclear facility in Isfahan that showed no signs of being hit.

image captionIranian state media downplayed the attack

The International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that no damage was caused to Iranian nuclear facilities.

Hossein Dalirian, spokesman for Iran’s National Cyberspace Center, said there had been “no airstrike from outside the borders” and that Israel had “made only one failed and humiliating attempt to fly quadcopters.” [drones] and the quadcopters had also been shot down.”

Iran imposed restrictions on commercial flights in the hours immediately after the attack, but they have since been lifted.

Explosions were also reported overnight in Iraq and Syria, where Iranian-backed armed groups operate, but it is unclear whether they are directly linked to the Isfahan attack.

The Syrian Defense Ministry stated that an Israeli missile had hit an air defense site in southern Syria early Friday morning local time.

Israel did not confirm being behind the attack.

3. Why was Isfahan the target?

Isfahan province is a large area in central Iran named after its largest city.

The region is home to important Iranian military infrastructure, such as a large air base, a large missile production complex, and several nuclear facilities.

Israel usually informs the United States in advance about its military actions, but Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani told reporters at the G7 meeting that Washington was “informed at the last minute.”

Speaking at the summit, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken refused to talk about the attack, simply saying that the United States “had not participated in any offensive operations.”

This latest attack comes less than a week after Iran launched hundreds of missiles and drones at Israel, in an incident seen as a dramatic escalation of tensions between the two countries.

Despite its enormous scale, the Iranian attack was largely unsuccessful, with the vast majority of projectiles being shot down by Israeli air defenses with the help of the United States, the United Kingdom and other allies.

That unprecedented attack on Israeli soil was a response to an attack on an Iranian diplomatic compound building in Syria on April 1.

Israel has also not publicly confirmed that it was behind that attack, but it is believed that it was.

4. What can happen now?

The significance of this latest attack is still unclear and it is not known whether Iran will attempt to respond.

BBC security correspondent Frank Gardener described the scale of Friday’s attack as “limited, almost symbolic” and potentially designed to ensure the conflict does not escalate.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will come under competing pressure from some of his own generals and political allies to stand up to Iran, according to BBC international editor Jeremy Bowen.

Israel has come under enormous pressure from the United States and other Western allies not to take any action that could turn its rivalry with Iran into a direct conflict.

This escalation of hostilities has as a backdrop the war in Gaza, where the Israeli army is fighting Hamas, a Palestinian organization supported by Iran.

5. What reactions have there been?

Some of the responses from within Israel have highlighted the country’s political divisions.

The Minister of Security, the ultranationalist Itamar Ben Gvir, described the attack on Iran as “weak” and “poor.”

Meanwhile, Israeli opposition leader Yair Lapid called for the minister’s resignation and said that what Gvir said had ridiculed and embarrassed Israel.

The British government said it would not speculate on the attack, but said Israel needed to avoid a “significant escalation” while exercising its “right to self-defense.”

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called on all parties to refrain from taking further action.

6. Will the attack impact the price of oil?

Caption, The Isfahan refinery is one of the largest in Iran.

There are fears that the worsening conflict in the Middle East will disrupt oil supplies.

After this Friday’s attack, Brent crude oil – an international benchmark for oil prices – rose 1.8% to reach US$88 a barrel.

Oil prices initially spiked as much as 3.5%, but stabilized when it became clear that the attack had been limited.

The price of gold – often considered a safe investment in times of uncertainty – approached an all-time high before falling back to almost $2,400 per 28 grams.

Click to read more stories from BBC News Mundo.

And remember that you can receive notifications in our app. Download the latest version and activate them.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.