Downing of U.S. drone revealed Washington’s empty power: Raisi

September 30, 2019 - 18:51

TEHRAN – Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raisi said on Monday that the IRGC forces’ downing of an intruding American drone showed to the world how empty the U.S.’s power is.

“No one would have believed that [our] Guards’ brothers could shoot down the American drone, which was equipped with the most advanced features,” said Raisi, addressing an IRGC conference in Tehran, IRNA reported.

On June 20, the IRGC Aerospace downed an American RQ-4 Global Hawk drone over the Strait of Hormuz after it violated Iranian airspace. Despite the U.S. claims that the drone had been flying over international waters, Iran put on show the retrieved parts of the drone in its own territorial waters where it was shot down.

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

“After the downing of the American drone, the country’s atmosphere becomes an atmosphere of resistance and perseverance in the face of the bullies and not an atmosphere of dialogue [with the U.S.],” Raisi remarked.

U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), in May 2018. He has since imposed more than 1,000 individual sanctions on Tehran, which culminated with an oil embargo this May. Zarif himself is also sanctioned.

The U.S. has also called for talks with Iran while refusing to lift the sanctions to boost the prospects of negotiations.

In remarks two weeks ago, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Khamenei slammed the U.S. bid for talks as a trick, stressing that Iranian and U.S. officials will not hold negotiations, either in New York or anywhere else.

However, the Leader said, “If the U.S. repents and returns to the nuclear treaty it has breached, then it will be able to join the gathering of the parties to the deal (JCPOA) who hold meetings and talk with Iran, otherwise no negotiations will take place between the officials of the Islamic Republic and the Americans at any level, not in New York and not anywhere else.”