Reuters news agency has reported that the drones responsible for the recent strikes on Iran likely originated from within Iranian borders. Speculation abounds regarding the involvement of special forces or infiltrators aligned with Israel. In January 2023, Israel was accused of orchestrating a drone strike on a weapons factory in Isfahan.

The recent escalation began with an Israeli bombing of an Iranian consular building in Damascus, prompting retaliation from Iran in the form of missile and drone attacks targeting Israeli territory. Despite the urge from some quarters for a forceful response, the Biden administration urged restraint from its Israeli counterparts.

US President Biden persuaded members of Israel’s security cabinet to hold off on retaliatory strikes against Iranian territory, assuring them that any response would be “smart” and avoid direct hits on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) confirmed that the recent attacks caused no damage to Iran’s nuclear facilities. However, the agency issued a call for maximum restraint from all parties involved.

The strike, said to be beyond the scope of the small drones described by Tehran, reportedly involved three missiles launched by Israeli Air Force warplanes.

According to ABC News, which cited a US official, the target of the strike was an air defence radar site located near Isfahan.

The missiles, fired from outside Iranian airspace, were said to have been deployed in a limited strike, according to initial assessments. The ABC report did not specify whether the missile strike was in addition to the drones reported by Iran. However, a report from The New York Times confirmed that Israeli planes fired missiles, indicating that Israel’s strike involved more advanced firepower than initially suggested.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdollahian sought to downplay the incident. He stated that the sortie near Isfahan involved miniature drones and caused no damage or casualties. The minister lambasted Israeli media for what he described as attempts to portray victory despite the downing of miniature drones during the incident. Tehran indicated that it has no immediate plans for retaliation.

So far, Israel has not officially commented on the reported strike.

World leaders have issued urgent calls for calm, emphasising the need to prevent further escalation that could breach important red lines and trigger a wider conflict.