Iran Brushes Off Israeli Retaliatory Attack

( – Iran’s laid-back response to Israel’s latest attack may indicate a successful attempt at de-escalation in a recent exchange of blows between the two countries.

Iranian state TV said three drones were destroyed in the sky over Isfahan just after midnight on Friday. Israel was not mentioned in the news reports. Iran’s foreign minister said the “mini drones” launched at Isfahan did not cause damage and there were no casualties. Satellite images obtained by CNN confirmed minimal damage at the reported target, an air base. According to a report by Reuters, a senior Iranian official said there was no attack but possibly an “infiltration” by a foreign source that has not been confirmed. The senior official also said there were no plans for retaliation.

Citizens in Iran report being unfazed by the attack. Bahar, an instructor who works with children in Isfahan, told AFP on Friday morning that they were having a “normal Friday morning” and were on their way to play board games in the park. The 24-year-old said she didn’t know about the explosions until a friend living abroad informed her.

Israeli media was careful to avoid direct quotes from Israeli officials and instead quoted foreign media sources that claimed Israel was responsible for the attack. Iran had previously promised severe retaliation to the “slightest action” from Israel on Iranian soil.

The drone attack on Isfahan came one week after Iran’s first direct attack on Israel which was in response to an Israeli strike on the Iranian embassy that killed several people including high-ranking generals.

According to an article by the New York Times, reports by Iranian officials indicate that an air defense system near Natanz was damaged. The damaged air defense system is said to be critical to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. The NYT article claims the attack was a calculated effort to send the message that Israel has the ability to bypass Iran’s defense systems undetected.

A report from the Pentagon said discussions occurred between the U.S. Secretary of Defense and his Israeli counterpart about “efforts to maintain regional stability.”

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