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Iran Leapfrogging into Leading Positions in Various Defense Sectors: Cleric

Tehran's Provisional Friday Prayers Leader Ayatollah Kazem Seddiqi praised Iran’s self-sufficiency in arms sphere and said the Islamic Republic has leapfrogged into leading positions in the various defense sectors.

Addressing a congregation of worshippers in Tehran on Friday, Ayatollah Seddiqi pointed to the National Day of the Defense Industry, which would be celebrated on Thursday, August 22, and said one of the “miracles” of the 1979 Islamic Revolution is “what we see in the defense industry, which has impressed the world.”

“We have had leaped toward the summit of various defense sectors,” the cleric said, adding, “What you saw in the shooting down of the American stealth drone is an example of that.”

“The missile (that hit the US drone) was an Islamic and indigenous one, although they (IRGC forces) could have hit the drone with an S-300 missile,” he noted.

The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.

The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.

Later on the same day, US President Donald Trump said he had called off a retaliatory attack on a number of targets in Iran and said that he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”

“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We’re not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.

However, on June 24 Trump announced new sanctions against top Iranian officials, including the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s foreign minister, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

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