A senior Iranian parliamentary official said the recent Iranian confrontation with a US spy drone in the airspace over the Persian Gulf was an example of the fact that the Iranian Armed Forces are prepared to give a crushing response to any enemy aggression in the shortest time and most powerful form possible.
“In fact, the reaction conveyed the message that the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran are fully prepared to confront any kind of aggression in the shortest time and the strongest form possible,” member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mohammad Saleh Jokar told FNA on Monday.
“Iran’s surprise, prompt and highly efficient action to shoo away the US drone away from the country’s airspace indicates the (Iranian) Armed Forces’ vigilance and defense preparedness for protecting and preserving the country,” Jokar underscored.
On Thursday the Pentagon reported that Iranian fighter jets had opened fire on a US drone over the Persian Gulf on November 1, but did not hit the aircraft.
According to the timeline provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian SU-25 “Frogfoot” aircraft intercepted the American drone at about 4:50 a.m. EST (0850 GMT) as it conducted a classified mission over Persian Gulf waters about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.
In response, Iranian defense officials confirmed the military confrontation, but stressed that the US drone had violated the Iranian airspace.
On Sunday, an Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Commander said that the Iranian jets only fired warning shots in the incident, but will “give a harsher response” to hostile aircraft next time.
Speaking to reporters here in Tehran on Sunday, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Forces Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said, “The US spy drone had entered the Iranian airspace above the southern coasts of the Bushehr province and was faced with the timely reaction of IRGC fighter jets.”
“According to reports by Americans, this (type of) aircraft is tasked with intelligence gathering, or in other words spying, missions,” he said, adding that the US Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) was an NQ1 drone.
Brigadier General Hajizadeh also noted that the aircraft was gathering intelligence on Kharg Island and voyage of oil tankers in there.
“These aircraft had violated the Flight Information Region (FIR) (of the Islamic Republic in the Persian Gulf) before and we had warned them, but this time the warning was much harsher,” he continued.
“We do not ignore our national interests and if the enemy crosses our red-lines and this incident is repeated, we will deal with it more harshly,” Brigadier General Hajizadeh said.
“We fired warning shots and if they do not pay attention, they may be confronted with harsher actions and responses,” he said.