Sun Jun 23, 2019
TEHRAN (FNA)- An overwhelming majority of Iranian Members of Parliament (MPs), in a statement on Sunday, voiced their strong support for the shooting down of an American spy drone by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) on Thursday, and chanted “Down with the US” in defiance to US President Donald Trump’s pressures against their country.
In a statement issued today, 250 members of Iran’s parliament voiced full support for the IRGC’s defensive operation, which saw the elite force shoot down on June 20 an advanced US-made RQ-4 Global Hawk over the territorial waters off the coastal province of Hormuzgan.
The legislators said the IRGC’s response to the drone incursion, which changed “the world’s military and political equations,” was just part of Iran’s defense power.
The downing of the sophisticated drone also disrupted the “equations of the psychological war” being waged on Iran and will prevent such violations of Iranian airspace in the future, the statement added.
They also urged the US and its allies to stop repeating their past mistakes and acknowledge, instead, Iran’s power and proper security situation.
Separately, Iranian Parliament’s Deputy Speaker Masoud Pezeshkian said, “America is the real terrorist in the world by spreading chaos in countries, giving advanced weapons to terrorist groups, causing insecurity, and still it says ‘Come, let’s negotiate.’”
During the Sunday session of the chamber, Iranian lawmakers shouted “Down with the US” to categorically denounce the American aircraft’s violation of the national territories of their country in the Gulf of Oman.
On Saturday, a member of the Iranian Parliament National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Alaeddin Boroujerdi said that the US’ drone intrusion into Iranian airspace was in violation of international regulations and the US must shoulder the responsibility of such a blatant act of aggression.
Boroujerdi, condemned the intrusion of the US spy drone into the Iranian airspace, saying, “The United Arab Emirates (UAE) or any other country that has provided the US 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 US’ 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 US, as a country that has nothing to do with our region, must withdraw from the Middle East.”
Lieutenant Commander of Khatam al-Anbia Air Defense Base Brigadier General Qader Rahimzadeh said on Friday that the US military’s insistence on defying international regulations cost them the loss of their high-altitude spy drone on Thursday, adding that US’ 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 US 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 aircraft down.
The commander added that all the paths undertaken by the US 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 US-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 US official said a US 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 US 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 US 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 intel 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 confirmed downing of the US spy drone on the Southern coasts of Iran on Thursday, stressing that the move 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 US 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 US 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] US 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 US aircraft was intercepted, and added, "We've retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down."
In an earlier tweet, Zarif stated that Iran "will take this US new aggression to [the] UN and show that the US 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".