“Iran will respond to any aggression, from any aggressor, under any circumstances, and aggressors will definitely receive a crushing … response. This is a serious message from Iran,” Brigadier General Hossein Dehqan told the Iranian state television on Monday night.
He made the comments hours after Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said they had shot down an Israeli spy drone which was heading to Natanz nuclear facility in the central Iranian province of Isfahan.
The Iranian defense chief further said the country’s military experts will analyze the remaining parts of the downed drone to extract any data stored on its system.
The IRGC has said the main parts of the unmanned aerial vehicle shot down by a surface-to-air missile were undamaged.
Dehqan also pointed to the strategic location where the Israeli aircraft had been intercepted and brought down, saying the Tel Aviv regime and the United States seek to create the impression that they could penetrate the airspace of any country to conduct spying operations.
Iran’s nuclear facilities have always been a regular target for espionage activities by US and Israeli secret services, which have at times used drones for that purpose. However, Iranian forces have managed to foil all such attempts.
On December 4, 2011, the Iranian military’s electronic warfare unit announced that it had successfully downed the American RQ-170 reconnaissance and spy drone in the eastern part of Iran with minimal damage.
In May, the IRGC unveiled a domestically produced version of the sophisticated US drone it captured back in 2011. The US RQ-170 Sentinel was reverse-engineered by IRGC experts in about two years.