Iran denies 'Israeli strike', admits shooting down drones

Iran denies 'Israeli strike', admits shooting down drones
BREAKING: Iran denies 'Israeli strike', admits shooting down drones / bne IntelliNews
By bne Tehran bureau April 19, 2024

Iranian military and government officials confirmed that recent air defence activity in Isfahan province was a routine measure against suspicious aerial objects, with no resulting damages or incidents, local media reported on April 19.

The sound of explosions heard in the early hours of the morning was attributed to air defence firing, specifically around the city of Qahjavarestan, close to Isfahan's airport and the 8th Air Force base. Iranian military allegedly shot down several drones around its base which were allegedly launched from a location in Iran. 

Major General Seyed Abdolrahim Mousavi, the Commander-in-Chief of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Army, in an interview with Defence Press, stated regarding the explosion heard in Isfahan: "Due to our vigilance, it was several flying objects at which shots had been fired."

Mousavi further commented on the threats against Iran on social media and cyberspace by Israel, saying: "Madness comes from every madman; their sanity is the question." He added: "You have seen Iran's reaction before."

Brigadier General Amir Mihandoust, a senior military official in Isfahan, addressed concerns following the loud disturbances reported by locals. "This sound was related to air defence fire at suspicious objects, and there have been no damages or incidents," he assured, dispelling fears of any significant threat.

Simultaneously, the Secretariat of the Supreme National Security Council of the Islamic Republic of Iran denied allegations of an emergency security meeting that had been reported by some international media outlets.

Reports by agencies such as Al Jazeera citing unnamed American officials about a possible Israeli strike on Iranian soil remain unverified, with no official statements released by either country involved.

Further, rumours of a significant explosion or missile impact in Isfahan were also refuted by informed sources.

"Despite rumours, up to this moment, there are no reports that a large explosion occurred in Isfahan or a missile has hit," sources told Tasnim News Agency.

These developments occurred amid heightened sensitivities in the region following Iran’s massive iar display over Israel on April 16, Israel has vowed to respond and Iran said war would soon follow if that were the case.

"The air defence has conducted firings around the Isfahan air base, but so far only the possibility of drones has been considered, although this has not yet been confirmed," explained Brigadier General Mihandoust in an IRNA report.

As of the latest updates, the situation in Isfahan city and province remains normal, with no disruptions reported following the air defence activity. Local reporters' field checks confirm that daily life continues unaffected despite the early morning disturbances.

The Iranian authorities have maintained that the security of vital installations, including nuclear facilities in Isfahan province, is not compromised and remains under strict surveillance amidst ongoing regional tensions.

Earlier, on a trip to Semnan, the Iranian president said that Iran would retaliate against any Israeli aggression on its territory. 

Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi issued a stern warning to Israel late on April 18, cautioning that any mistake or aggression towards Iranian territory would be met with a severe response that would leave Israel and its allies regretting their actions.