A blast at Iran’s Parchin military facility last week was caused by “suicide drones,” The New York Times reported on Friday.

The May 25 strike targeted a facility where Iran develops missile, nuclear and drone technology, according to the Times, which cited “three Iranians with knowledge of the attack” as well an unnamed U.S. official. An engineer working for the Iranian Defense Ministry was killed, and another person was injured, the report stated.

“There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but the attack fit a pattern of past Israeli strikes on Iran and Lebanon in a covert campaign,” it said.

“A statement from Iran’s Ministry of Defense indicated that it viewed this as an attack, not an accident,” the report added.

Israel has refused to comment on the incident, and while a U.S. official confirmed to the Times that suicide drones were used, did not discuss who had sent them.

Israeli officials were taken by surprise last Wednesday by another report in the Times, alleging that Israel had informed Washington it was behind the assassination of a top Iranian officer earlier in the week.

An unnamed intelligence official told the Times that the hit was meant as a warning to Iran to halt the operations of Unit 840—a covert group within the Islamic Republic’s infamous black-ops arm, the Quds Force. According to the Israeli government, the Israel Defense Forces and intelligence officials, Unit 840 is tasked with abductions and assassinations of foreigners around the world, including Israeli civilians and officials.

Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was reportedly shot five times by two men on a motorcycle in the heart of Tehran on May 22. Israeli media reported that he had been involved in planning attacks against Israel.


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