Iranian ballistic missiles. Image: Creative Commons.
The Parchin Attack, Explained: Over the last few weeks, Iran’s state media reported that an engineer and employee were killed when an “unexplained incident” struck a major Iranian military and weapons development site east of Tehran. According to the state-run media outlet, an industrial accident was the cause of the two deaths in the complex.
The New York Times reported that undisclosed Iranian sources and a U.S. official with knowledge of the Parchin area attack disputed this claim. The sources reported that the factory was struck by quadcopter suicide drones. While no group immediately claimed responsibility for the drone attack, Israel has carried out similar operations in the region in the past. Additionally, a few days before the attack, Israel took credit for the assassination of an Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp (IRGC) colonel.
Military Compound in Parchin
Located approximately 35 miles southeast of Tehran, Parchin is home to a sensitive military compound. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) had suspected that the IRGC had conducted tests of explosives triggers at this site in the past, which could be used in nuclear weapons. Although Iran’s regime frequently denies its nuclear ambitions exist, its sharp uptick in raw materials production in compliance with international safeguards and threatening rhetoric prove otherwise. The ongoing joint U.S.-Iranian nuclear negotiations recently halted in Vienna, and U.S. officials predict Iran’s nuclear breakout time is imminent.