Press TV – January 2, 2011
A senior Iranian commander says Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) has so far shot down two Western spy planes in the Persian Gulf.
“Westerners have a series of capabilities from long ago which cannot be ignored… for example they have spy drones which can take pictures in some places,” IRGC Air Force Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said on Sunday.
“But they (Westerners) use these [drones] mostly in countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan and they do not dare using these [planes] in our country,” Fars News Agency quoted Hajizadeh as saying.
The Iranian commander added that few aggressions have happened against Iran and IRGC has so far downed many of their advanced spy planes.
“For example we shot down two of their planes in the Persian Gulf and this is the first time this incident is [publicly] announced,” Hajizadeh said.
He said that the country has reversed engineered the drones it has shot down.
Regarding country’s peaceful programs, Hajizadeh said regional countries know that Iran’s capabilities or drills are merely detergent measures.
Iran has staged several military drills in 2010 to demonstrate the country’s military capabilities.
Several surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, compatible with destroyers and upgraded hovercrafts were test-fired in the Velyat 89 drills staged by the Army and the Air Force in May.
In August, Iran unveiled its first domestically-manufactured long-range Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) named Karrar (Frequent Attacker). The drone is capable of flying long distances at a very high speed.
Iran also inaugurated the production line of two other domestically-built UAVs with bombing and reconnaissance capabilities last month.
The two hi-tech drones named ‘Ra’d’ (Thunder) and ‘Nazir’ (Harbinger) are capable of performing long-range reconnaissance, patrolling, assault and bombing missions with high precision.
Iran has launched a campaign for self-sufficiency in the country’s defense industry, inaugurating numerous military equipment projects, including aerial and sea-borne military vehicles such as submarines, combat frigates, and various types of missiles.
“We believe that regional countries are able to provide security for the region… and to achieve this end we are ready to provide them with instruction and equipment.”