Iran giving foreign militias drone training near Isfahan: Israeli defense minister | THE DAILY TRIBUNE | KINGDOM OF BAHRAIN

Iran giving foreign militias drone training near Isfahan: Israeli defense minister

Agencies | Herzliya

The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com

Israel’s defense minister accused Iran yesterday of providing foreign militias with drone training at an air base near the city of Isfahan, a month after Tehran came under global scrutiny over a suspected drone attack on an Israeli-managed tanker off Oman.

Israel has combined military strikes with diplomatic pressure to beat back what it describes as an effort by its arch-foe, whose nuclear negotiations with the West are deadlocked, to beef up regional clout through allied guerrillas.

In what his office described as a new disclosure, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Iran was using Kashan air base north of Isfahan to train “terror operatives from Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in flying Iranian-made UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).”

Iran was also trying to “transfer know-how that would allow the manufacturing of UAVs in the Gaza Strip,” on Israel’s southern border, Gantz told a conference at Reichman University near Tel Aviv.

His office provided what it said were satellite images showing UAVs on the runways at Kashan. There was no immediate comment from Iran.

A July 29 blast aboard the Mercer Street, a Liberian-flagged, Japanese-owned petroleum product tanker managed by Israeli-owned Zodiac Maritime, near the mouth of the Gulf, a key oil shipping route, killed two crew — a Briton and a Romanian.

The US military said explosives experts from the Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier — which deployed to assist the Mercer Street — concluded the explosion was from a drone produced in Iran, which was accused by other world powers in the attack.