Advisor warns trio of KSA, UAE, Bahrain about risking security in region

June 23, 2019

TEHRAN (FNA) - Advisor to the Iranian Parliament Speaker Hossein Amir Abdollahian slammed Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain for allowing their lands be used as a platform for the U.S. military to spy on other countries of the region, and warned them against playing with regional security and stability.

In a tweet on Saturday, Amir Abdollahian censured the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain for “toy[ing] with regional security by giving territories to foreign power", and allowing the U.S. to carry out “provocative and espionage moves” from their soils against other countries in the region.

His remarks came after a U.S. spy drone took off from a military base in the UAE on Thursday and violated the Iranian airspace hours later at dawn.

“They don't have proper understanding of sustainable security and play with fire leading to their burning,” he warned.

Earlier on Saturday, a member of the Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi warned the UAE against the consequences of its military cooperation with the U.S. against Iran, saying that the U.S. drone operations to spy on Iran amounts to a joint aggression of Iranian territory by Abu Dhabi and Washington.

He said that The U.S.’ drone intrusion into Iranian airspace was in violation of international regulations and the U.S. must shoulder the responsibility of such a blatant act of aggression.

Boroujerdi, condemned the intrusion of a U.S. spy drone into the Iranian airspace, saying, “The United Arab Emirates (UAE) or any other country that has provided U.S. with military bases and allows Washington to use its territories to invade the Iranian borders must know that they are complicit in this aggression and must take responsibility for it.”

Asked to comment on certain claims that Iran’s evidence of the intrusion of the American drone is fake, Boroujerdi said, “Given the fact that the evidence will be evaluated by international experts, Americans cannot use this excuse to deceive the public opinion.”

“Our policy is to preserve the sustainable security of the region, and we are strongly against the U.S.’ measures in the region,” he stressed.

He went on to add, “We are definitely in favor of a serious security cooperation with regional countries. The U.S., as a country that has nothing to do with our region, must withdraw from the Middle East.”

Also on the day, the Iranian foreign ministry summoned the UAE charge de affairs to protest at Washington's violation of Iran's airspace by a spy drone which had taken off from a U.S. base in the tiny Persian Gulf Arab state.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran does not accept provision of possibilities to the foreign forces for an aggression against Iran's territorial waters, lands or airspace," the head of the Persian Gulf desk of the Iranian foreign ministry said during the meeting in Tehran today.

He added that countries, including the UAE, cannot act irresponsibly in such cases.

The Iranian foreign ministry had on Friday summoned Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Markus Leitner whose country represents the U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, and voiced the country’s strong protest over Washington’s violation of its airspace with a spy drone.

Iranian Foreign Minister’s Aide and the General Director for American Affairs at the ministry Mohsen Baharvand delivered his country’s memo of official protest to the Swiss envoy, strongly protesting the American drone’s violation of Iran’s airspace.

Tehran warned Washington that the U.S. will be held responsible for the dire consequence of such provocative measures.

In the meeting, the Swiss diplomat was briefed with further details of the incident, informed of the exact geographical coordinates of the drone interception, and told that the wreckage of the downed drone was collected in Iranian territorial waters and delivered to Iranian armed forces, adding that Tehran is ready to show the evidence (to international bodies).

The Iranian diplomat called on the Swiss envoy to convey the message of Tehran that the country was not after starting a war with any country, including the U.S., reminding that, however, the Armed Forces of Iran would not tolerate any act of aggression and would immediately and strongly respond to it.

“The Iranian Armed Forces will exercise maximum restraint to protect the security and serenity of the sensitive region of the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman, but if the other side undertakes any uncalculated and provocative measure, it will face a reciprocal move with unpredictable consequences which will inflict damages and casualties on all sides,” the Iranian Foreign Ministry warned, in a message to be delivered to the U.S. through the Swiss embassy in Tehran.

The Swiss envoy, for his part, promised to immediately convey the message to Washington.

Lieutenant Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Qader Rahimzadeh said on Friday that the U.S. military’s insistence on defying international regulations cost them the loss of their high-altitude spy drone on Thursday, adding that U.S.’ RQ-4 Global Hawk was warned for several times before being shot down over Iranian airspace.

Brigadier General Rahimzadeh said that the operator of the spy drone of the U.S. which was downed by an Iranian missile early on Thursday was warned multiple times for violating the airspace of the Islamic Republic, adding that the negligence of the operator left no option for Iranian defense units to shoot the craft down.

The commander added that all the paths undertaken by the U.S. drone have been tracked and registered, and all the warnings issued for the drone have been recorded by the Iranian units responsible for monitoring the country’s borders and controlling the redlines.

The IRGC had announced in a statement early on Thursday that the U.S.-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the Central district of Jask after the aircraft violated Iran's airspace.

The RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft system (UAS) can fly at high altitudes for more than 30 hours, gathering near-real-time, high-resolution imagery of large areas of land in all types of weather.

Meantime, a U.S. official said a U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton high-altitude drone was shot down by Iranian surface-to-air missile.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) issued a second statement on Thursday disclosing details about the shooting down of the U.S. spy drone near the Strait of Hormuz, stressing that the unmanned aircraft was targeted after violating Iran's airspace over the Southern coasts.

"The Global Hawk spy drone took off from one of the U.S. forces' bases South of the Persian Gulf at 00:14 am today and turned off all its Identification (Identification Friend or Foe) equipment and continued flight from the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar port in a full stealth mode," the statement said on Thursday noon after the IRGC declared in an earlier statement that it had shot down the drone at dawn.

"The drone started collecting intelligence in a spying operation when it was returning towards the Western parts of the region near the Strait of Hormuz and it violated the airspace over the Islamic Republic of Iran's territory," it added.

"The IRGC Aerospace Force's air defense system targeted and destroyed the hostile aircraft which had entered Iran's territorial airspace at 04:05 am," the statement said.

After the incident, the Iranian foreign ministry strongly deplored violation of the country's airspace, warning of consequences of any aggression.

"We strongly protest at such aggressive and provocative measures and firmly warn against any illegal and aggressive flight of any hostile foreign flying objects over the country's sky and violation of its airspace," Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi said on Thursday.

He warned that the aggressors should account for the consequences of such moves.

Also, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami stressed that the shooting down of the U.S. drone should alert Washington officials to stay away.

"At dawn, the IRGC Air Force bravely downed an enemy spy drone which had crossed our borders and was violating our national security," General Salami said, addressing a congress in the Western province of Kurdistan.

He added that the incident sent "a clear message" to the U.S. and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression.

"Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran's territorial integrity and national interests," General Salami said.

"We declare that we do not want war with any country but we are fully ready for war and the today incident was a clear instance of this precise message," he underscored.

On Thursday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country has retrieved parts of the U.S. Global Hawk that was shot down on Thursday morning from the country's territorial waters, rejecting Washington's claim that the aircraft was targeted in international waters.

"[The] U.S. drone took off from UAE in stealth mode and violated Iranian airspace," Zarif wrote on Twitter on Thursday night, adding that the Global Hawk drone "was targeted near... Kouh-e Mobarak" region in the Central district of Jask in Hormuzgan province after the aircraft violated Iran's airspace.

Zarif even provided the coordinates where the U.S. aircraft was intercepted, and added, "We've retrieved sections of the U.S. military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down."

In an earlier tweet, Zarif stated that Iran "will take this U.S. new aggression to [the] UN and show that the U.S. is lying about international waters".

The Iranian foreign minister noted that Tehran does not want war, "but will zealously defend our skies, land and waters".

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