Yesterday, I reported about an Azeri drone manufactured by Israel which Iran shot down. The Iranians claimed it was shot down over Natanz. That would be a distance of 600 miles from Azerbaijan. The Hermes 450 drone which Iran downed has a range of 180 miles. So it’s unlikely it was anywhere near Natanz (as a commenter pointed out in the comment thread yesterday) when it crashed.
My Israeli source tells me that the site the drone was spying on was a secret site much closer to the Azeri border (probably no more than 180 miles from it). I do not yet know the location or nature of the site. But it appears to be one Israel believes is connected to the nuclear program, and not one that is publicly known such as the plants at Natanz, Bushehr and Arak.
What’s interesting about this story is that Israel is tight-lipped because shooting down its drone is bad for military export business and also complicates U.S.-led efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Iran. Iran has disseminated false information about the downing because it doesn’t want the world to get any closer to identifying this secret site. But from Israel’s point of view, any development (even shooting down one of its drones) that brings this site any closer to exposure would be a good thing because it would embarrass the Iranians.Buffer