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Iran Executes 'Terrorist' Over Alleged Israel Link to Attack

FILE - Iranian women react during a public execution in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 20, 2013.
FILE - Iranian women react during a public execution in Tehran, Iran, Jan. 20, 2013.

Iran's judiciary has executed a "terrorist" over a drone attack that targeted a defense ministry site in central Iran last year, state media reported Sunday.

According to state TV, the person "planned to explode the workshop complex of the Ministry of Defense in Isfahan under guidance of the intelligence officer of Mossad," Israel's spy agency.

The date of the execution and identity of the accused person were not immediately clear.

Iran has several known nuclear research sites in the Isfahan region, including a uranium conversion plant. The country's sanction-hit nuclear program has been the target of sabotage, assassinations of scientists and cyberattacks.

Tehran has accused Israel of carrying out several covert actions on its soil.

Iran's intelligence ministry said in February 2023 that it had arrested the "main actors" involved in the drone attack on a defense ministry site in Isfahan, home to the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility.

The previous month, an anti-aircraft system destroyed a drone, and two others exploded during an attack on a defense ministry facility in the province, officials said at the time.

According to the defense ministry, the night-time attack left no casualties and only caused minor damage.

Authorities did not elaborate on activities at the site, but IRNA said the strike had targeted "an ammunition manufacturing plant."

Iran has been engaged in a shadow war for years with its arch-enemy Israel.

In August last year Iran claimed to have foiled a "very complex" Mossad-initiated project to "sabotage" its ballistic missile industry.

In January, Iran hanged four members of its Kurdish minority on charges of spying for Israel. They were convicted of collaborating with Israel on a plan to sabotage an Iranian defense site in Isfahan.

In April 2021, Tehran announced it had started producing 60 percent enriched uranium at the Natanz site, a day after accusing Israel of an attack there.

Since last October Israel's war in the Gaza Strip against Hamas militants has sent tensions soaring. Iran has supported Hamas in the war, but denied any direct involvement in its attack, or in military action launched by allied armed groups in countries from Lebanon to Yemen.

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