Skip to content
What is the strategic importance of Isfahan, the Iranian city targeted by the attack attributed to Israel?

What is the strategic importance of Isfahan, the Iranian city targeted by the attack attributed to Israel?

What is the strategic importance of Isfahan, the Iranian city targeted by the attack attributed to Israel?

Famous for its palaces, mosques and tiled minarets, Isfahanwhere explosions were heard in the early hours of Friday, is also an important center of Iran’s military industry.

Iran’s third largest city, nicknamed “Nesf-e-Jahaan” or middle of the world, is located in the center of the country, near the Zagros Mountains.

LOOK: How Iran and Israel’s military capabilities compare

The city and the surrounding region are a manufacturing center for drones and ballistic missiles.

Relatively nearby is the Natanz nuclear facility, the most important center of Iran’s nuclear enrichment program.

This is probably what put her on target and why she was attacked. Israel has not confirmed its responsibility for the attack, but its government announced a few days ago that it would respond to the launch of hundreds of Iranian missiles and drones against its territory last weekend.

This massive attack, which did not cause major damage, was Iran’s response to the attack on its consulate in Damascus, in which several of its generals were killed and for which Tehran blamed the Israelis.

The name of Isfahan is closely linked to the Iran’s nuclear facilitiesso the message of this Friday’s attack will not have gone unnoticed by its leaders.

If it was an Israeli attack, it seems that Benjamin Netanyahu’s government tried to make it clear to Iran that it has the capacity to attack these sensitive targets in the province, even if it has so far refrained from actually doing so.

Iranian authorities quickly announced that nuclear facilities in Isfahan province were “completely safe.” Iran, which does not possess nuclear weapons, denies that it is trying to use its civilian nuclear program to achieve them.

Map showing the location of strategic facilities in Isfahan.

Contradictory information

However, there are conflicting reports about what happened in the early hours of Friday. Iran’s National Cyberspace Center spokesman Hossein Dalirian said “several” drones had been “successfully shot down” and dismissed reports that a missile attack had taken place.

Some Iranian media reported three explosions near Isfahan airport and an air base.

The commander-in-chief of the Iranian army, Abdolrahim Mousavi, attributed Friday’s explosions to “the firing of air defense systems at a suspicious object.”

Iranian media and officials said the incident involved three drones launched by “infiltrators.”

The Iranian Air Force has a base at Isfahan airportwhich houses some of its old F-14 fighters.

Iran first acquired this American-made fighter in the 1970s, when the Shah reigned and maintained good relations with Washington, and has managed to keep its fleet operational ever since. It is the only country in the world that maintains operational devices made famous by the 1986 film “Top Gun”.

Isfahan has been the target of previous attacks for which Israel has been blamed. In January 2023, Iran blamed Israel for a drone attack on a munitions factory in the city center. The attack would have been carried out using quadcopters, small drones with four propellers.

People lead normal lives in Isfahan after the attack.  (REUTERS).

People lead normal lives in Isfahan after the attack. (REUTERS).

“Very significant”

Hamish de Bretton-Gordon, a chemical weapons expert who was head of the UK and NATO nuclear forces, told the BBC that attacking Isfahan is “very significant” because of the number of military bases there and around it.

He added that the alleged missile attack occurred “very close to where we think Iran is trying to develop nuclear weapons, so perhaps it is a reference to that.”

For this expert, the Israeli attack was “largely a demonstration of capacity and perhaps of intention”. He said most of the more than 300 drones and missiles Iran fired at Israel last weekend were intercepted, while Israel fired “one, maybe two” missiles at a target and would have caused “damage.”

He highlighted that Iranian authorities are downplaying the importance of the attack because they do not want to publicize Israel’s success in penetrating Iran’s “outdated” air defense systems.

“Israel far surpasses Iran in military terms and this is a demonstration of that,” he said.

Iran is the only country that still operates old American F-14 fighter jets and some of them are based in Isfahan.  (GET IMAGES).

Iran is the only country that still operates old American F-14 fighter jets and some of them are based in Isfahan. (GET IMAGES).

“Iran would prefer to fight in the shadows, using its terrorist groups and allies, rather than confront Israel directly in a conventional way, where it knows it would suffer a real blow,” said the expert.

His impression is what the comments coming from Moscow seem to confirm. “Russia, which has increasingly close military cooperation with Iran, has informed Israel that Iran ‘doesn’t want escalation’‘” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

“There were telephone contacts between the Russian leadership and Iran, our representatives and the Israelis. We made that very clear in these conversations, we told the Israelis that Iran does not want an escalation,” Lavrov told Russian radio.

De Bretton-Gordon said Iran has “slightly restored its pride” after attacking Israel last weekend and probably wants to leave things as they are for now.

“He knows that Israel is absolutely determined and appears to have the support of the United States and others. Iran really can’t count on much help, perhaps some from Russia, which is very interested in keeping its focus on the Middle East and not on Ukraine, but other than that, it’s a bit isolated,” he said.

“The last thing they want is for some of their main facilities to be attacked,” concluded the expert.

Source: Elcomercio

Share this article:
globalhappenings news.jpg
most popular