Iran on Thursday threatened to retaliate against Israel over a weekend drone attack on an Iranian military factory that has been attributed to the Israeli government.
In a letter to the UN Security Council, Iran said it had thwarted the three-drone Saturday night strike on a complex in the city of Isfahan by intercepting two of the drones, and that Israel was responsible for the attack.
Details about the strike were murky. But no deaths were reported.
Iran's three-page letter, signed by Ambassador Amir Saeid Iravani, said Israel "must be held accountable for all criminal and terrorist acts committed against Iran and face the consequences."
"The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves its legitimate and inherent right," said the letter, "to defend its national security and respond resolutely to any threats or wrongful actions by the Israeli regime, wherever and whenever deemed necessary."
Farhan Haq, a spokesman for UN Secretary General António Guterres, said his office received the message. "As a point of principle, we want all parties to avoid any escalation in the region," Haq said in an email on Thursday.
Israel, a longtime foe of Iran, did not immediately move to distance itself from the attack. The office of the Consulate General of Israel in New York said in an email: "Israel does not comment on specific operations."
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declined to confirm or deny whether his country was behind the strike.
"Every time some explosion takes place in the Middle East, Israel is blamed or given responsibility - sometimes we are; sometimes we are not," Netanyahu told CNN on Tuesday.
The U.S. has accused Iran of supplying drones to Russia, and an adviser to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine publicly celebrated the strike.
"Explosive night in Iran," Mykhailo Podolyak, the adviser, said Sunday on Twitter, adding that Ukraine "did warn you."
But it was unclear what, if any, connection the incident in Isfahan had to the Russian war in Ukraine. And it appears that a series of Israeli strikes on Iranian soil predates the Russian invasion.
In the letter, Iran said that it has taken a "principled position on the current conflict in Ukraine which is based on active impartiality and neutrality" and that it opposes all military conflicts.
"Iran also places a high priority on respecting Ukraine's sovereignty, independence, unity, and territorial integrity," said the letter. "Iran supports resolving the conflict in Ukraine peacefully."
The letter described the facility in Isfahan - a city of 2 million in central Iran - as a "workshop complex," but did not say what the factory makes. The foiled strike was carried out by so-called micro aerial vehicles, according to Iran.
Iran's IRNA news agency, a government mouthpiece, described the trio of drones as advanced quadcopters carrying small bombs.
With News Wire Services