Vice-Chairman of the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Mansour Haqiqatpour urged the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces to name the country of origin where the Israeli spy drone that was shot down over Iran late last month had taken off.
“We want the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces (General Hassan Firouzabadi) to carry out the necessary investigations to identify the origin of the flight and inform the people of the results,” Haqiqatpour told FNA on Saturday.
He noted that the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission will study the issue and carry out the necessary follow-ups for taking appropriate political action against that country.
On August 24, Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced in a statement that it had shot down an Israeli drone near the highly sensitive nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz in Central Iran.
The IRGC Public Relations Department said in the statement that the Israeli pilotless aircraft was a radar-evading, stealth drone with the mission to spy on Iran’s Natanz nuclear enrichment plant.
The IRGC also pointed out in its statement that the Israeli hostile aircraft had been targeted by a surface-to-air missile.
The IRGC has warned that it “reserves the right of response and retaliation for itself”.
On August 30, Haqiqatpour warned that Tehran will show tough reaction to the country which was used by Israel to send its spy drone to Iran.
“Any country that has allowed the Zionist regime to fly its (spy) drone from there to Iran should make up for its action,” Haqiqatpour told FNA.
He cautioned that appropriate measures will be taken against the country that was used by the Israeli drone for take off, and said, “This country should wait for the consequences.”
Haqiqatpour said that investigations are underway to identify the third country and some progress has been made in this regard so far.
On August 25, Director of the IRGC’s Public Relations Department General Ramezan Sharif told FNA that some of the parts of the downed aircraft are working, “and our experts are studying the information and intelligence of these parts”.
“We are now analyzing the information of this plane,” he added.
Then, Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh announced that “the downed spy drone is Hermes and made in Israel”.
He said the operational range of Hermes drones is 800 kilometers, adding that the aircraft can fly 1,600 kilometers by refueling once.
The General said parts of the aircraft have burnt out after it was targeted by the ground-to-air missiles of the IRGC Aerospace Force and after its fuel tank blast, yet “some parts of this drone are intact and we are now analyzing the information and intel of these parts”.
Elaborating on the details of the down Israeli aircraft, the commander further stated that the drone, which is 5.5 meters wide in wings, is equipped with two cameras which can take high-quality photos.
“There was no prior information available about the aircraft and the only one of this type had been downed in Syria, but this one is more advanced,” General Hajizadeh said.
On August 26, IRGC Lieutenant Commander Brigadier General Hossein Salami said in Tehran that Iran knows well from which country and which base the Israeli drone that it shot down a few days ago had taken off.
“What some people say that the drone had started its flight from Israel is not correct and we are almost certain about its origin, yet we would like to reserve judgment at present,” Salami told reporters in Tehran.
He further pointed out that the drone had been traced as soon as it had crossed Iran’s borders, but “it was allowed to enter the country to see the intention (of the hostile forces operating it) and then we targeted and hit it at the right time”.
A day later on August 27, a high-ranking Iranian commander said that downing the Israeli hostile drone was just the beginning of Iran’s retaliatory moves and Tel Aviv should wait for Tehran’s tougher responses, adding that the drone had started its mission from a country North of Iran.
“The destruction of the spy drone is not the end of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s (retaliatory) action as we will give our (main) response to the enemy in the occupied territories,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces for Cultural Affairs and Defense Publicity Brigadier General Massoud Jazzayeri told FNA.
He further expressed regret that a regional country North of Iran has collaborated with Israel and served as a launch-pad for the mission, and said, “We are waiting for that country which has cooperated with the Quds Occupying Regime (Israel) to send the drone to Iran to make up for its wrong deed; otherwise, we will declare its name.”
Jazzayeri said that the drone had taken off from a former Soviet republic in the North of Iran.
Gen. Hajizadeh as well as Basij Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi have underlined that Iran would speed up arming the West Bank in retaliation to the Israeli aggression, although they have warned that this would not be Iran’s only response. Later on August 27, Naqdi announced that arming the Palestinian resistance groups in the West bank had already started.
“Arming the West Bank has started and weapons will be supplied to the people of this region,” Naqdi told FNA on the sidelines of the closing ceremony of a forum of Basiji university professors in Tehran.
He underlined that arming the West Bank will lead to the annihilation of the Zionist regime.
Stressing the need for Israel to return the Palestinian lands to their real owners, Naqdi said, “The Zionists should know that the next war won’t be confined to the present borders and the Mujahedeen will push them back.”
He also revealed that many of the equipment and possibilities used by the Palestinians in their recent defense against Israel were the products of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and added that Tehran had also trained them on how to use such technologies to defend themselves.
And on August 29, Iran’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations (UN) Hossein Dehqani, in separate letters to the heads of the UN, UN Security Council and UN General Assembly, had strongly deplored the recent violation of Iran’s airspace by an Israeli spy drone and asked for international action against Tel Aviv’s threats.
In the letters addressed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, UN Security Council President Mark Lyall Grant and President of the UN General Assembly John Ashe, Dehqani condemned the Israeli intrusion into Iranian airspace.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran reserves the right to take any defensive measure to protect its territory and warns that such provocative acts will have serious repercussions for the aggressor,” the Iranian envoy said.
“The recent intrusion into Iran’s airspace by an Israeli drone constituted a blatant violation of the territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the Islamic Republic and contravened the principles of international law and the contents of the UN Charter,” the Dehqani added.
He described the violation as a threat to regional peace and stability, and urged the international community, specially the UN Security Council, to condemn the act of aggression.
Meantime, another Israeli Hermes drone had crashed in the vicinity of Baghdad Airport on August 27, the second such loss in less than three days.
The Arabic-language Al-Mayadin TV channel reported Wednesday night that an Israeli drone had crashed near Baghdad Airport, adding that the unmanned aircraft was a Hermes Model.
The TV channel said the cause of the crash is still unclear and Iraq’s Army had refrained from speaking to the media about the event.
FNA correspondent in Baghdad reported that the US embassy security staff had rushed to the crash site and collected the debris and the remains of the downed Israeli drone.
This was the third drone loss by the Israeli army in the last one month. The first drone was shot down by Palestinians in Gaza a few weeks ago.