“Air Defense Force has foiled evil plots against Iran”

July 2, 2019 - 19:51

TEHRAN - Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard, commander of Iran’s Air Defense Force, said on Tuesday that the armed forces will give an appropriate response to any action by enemies.

“Today, our enemies have become aware that any action by them will face an appropriate response by the armed forces and they have tested this issue for several times,” Sabahifard said.

He said that vigilance of the Air Defense Force have foiled enemies’ evil plots.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone on June 20 after it breached Iran’s airspace. The IRGC brought the drone down by firing a surface-to-air missile at it.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the U.S. military drone, an RQ-4 Black Hawk, entered the Iranian airspace from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and it was targeted near Kouh-e Mobarak. The Emiratis later acknowledged that the drone had taken off from their country. 

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the aerospace unit of the IRGC, said the drone had received warnings four times before being shot down.

The IRGC released GPS coordinates that showed the drone eight miles off Iran’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore that is Iran’s territorial waters.

Brigadier General Majid Fakhri, the head of the Geographical Organization of the Armed Forces of Iran, said the U.S. drone had trespassed into the Iranian territory by 7 kilometers before it was shot.

“The drone was certainly in Iranian territory by 4 miles or 7 kilometers,” he told reporters.

Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, wrote a letter on June 20 to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council stating that “Iran condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this irresponsible and provocative wrongful act by the United States, which entails its international responsibility.”

“While the Islamic Republic of Iran does not seek war, it reserves its inherent right, under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, to take all appropriate necessary measures against any hostile act violating its territory, and is determined to vigorously defend its land, sea and air,” Takht-e Ravanchi said.

Iran has formally lodged a complaint against the United States for this action to the UN Security Council.