Mon, 12 Nov 2012 02:32:40 GMT
The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says Iran will respond strongly to any violation of its airspace by the United States.
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari made the remarks on Sunday, adding that the Islamic Republic’s fighter jets managed to force an American drone to fly out of Iran’s skies after it crossed into the Iranian airspace several days ago.
“An enemy’s unmanned aircraft was flying in the Persian Gulf. The drone was inside Iranian airspace. It mistakenly or intentionally entered the Iranian airspace. Iran’s air defense systems and IRGC fighter jets did their job and forced the aircraft out of Iran’s skies. Evidently, if such intrusions take place in the future, we will protect our airspace,” he said.
Brigadier General Amirali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC’s Aerospace Division, stated that the Iranian fighter jets fired warning shots to drive out the US drone.
Hajizadeh added that the US drone was on a mission to gather oil and economic intelligence around the Khark Island in southern Iran.
Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said on Friday that Iran had turned away an unidentified aircraft that had entered the country’s airspace “above the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic in the Persian Gulf.”
The comments followed the Pentagon's claims that two Iranian warplanes had fired at a US drone as it was conducting a routine, but classified surveillance mission over the Persian Gulf about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast last week.