TEHRAN - Iran's Revolutionary Guards have shot down two
"Western spy" drones in the Gulf, the Fars news agency quoted a top
commander of the elite military force as saying on Sunday.
"Westerners have a series of capabilities which cannot be ignored,
especially satellites, or for example they have spy planes which can
take pictures in some places," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, head of the air force
wing of the Guards said.
He said that the drones were mainly being used in Iraq and
Afghanistan but "some violations against our soil" have also occurred.
"And we have so far downed many of their advanced spy planes. In the
Persian Gulf, we have downed two of their planes and this is the first
time that we are saying it," Hajizadeh said without specifying when
exactly the drones were shot down.
He also boasted that all "enemy" bases in the region were within
range of Iranian missiles, referring to arch-foe the United States. He
said that even the aircraft carriers deployed in the region were no
longer a threat to Iran.
"There was a time when an aircraft carrier was something to rely on
and when they told a country that this warship was moving towards your
shore, the government of that country would be toppled," Hajizadeh said.
"But now this has become a threat for them. We have full control of
our enemies. We notice whatever changes taking place on our shores. When
they go on alert in the warships or when they put on life jackets to
launch boats in the sea, we are aware of that."
Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps, target of a series of US
sanctions, was set up as a force to defend the 1979 Islamic revolution
from internal and external threats.
Its commanders have repeatedly boasted of its capabilities and
delivered warnings to regional foe Israel, which like the United States,
has not ruled out a military strike to prevent Iran acquiring a nuclear
Many Western governments believe Iran's nuclear program may be a covert bid to make a bomb, a charge Tehran denies.
The US navy's Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, just across the Gulf
from Iran. Iranian commanders have repeatedly threatened to block
navigation through the strategic Strait of Hormuz, which links the Gulf
to the Indian Ocean, if it comes under attack.
Sixty percent of the world's oil supplies pass through the Strait of Hormuz.
The US military and Central Intelligency Agency regularly use drones
to launch missile strikes in Afghanistan and in Pakistan's lawless
tribal belt but do not generally confirm attacks.
The drone strikes are deeply unpopular among the Pakistani public
but the United States says the strikes have killed a number of