US Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk drone 370 (R).
(photo credit: Reuters / Handout)
A senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps said Sunday that Iran had
documents to prove that a US drone had entered Iranian airspace.
deputy commander Brig.-Gen. Hossein Salami’s comments came a week after Pentagon
officials announced that Iranian Su-25 fighter jets had fired on an unarmed US
Predator drone on November 1, as it conducted what they said was routine
surveillance in international airspace east of Kuwait, 26 kilometers off the
coast of Iran.
Salami was responding to questions regarding whether the
drone had been in international airspace as the US had claimed, or whether it
had entered Iranian airspace when the IRGC air force repelled it.
IRGC commander said that the documents proved that Iran’s air force had not
conducted any act of aggression against any aircraft in international
Iran was aware of international law regarding “incursions from
alien aircraft,” Salami added.
“Certainly if the situation had been
otherwise we would never have fired [at the drone],” Salami was quoted as saying
by Mashregh News, a website close to the IRGC.
The drone incident comes
almost a year after Iran reported that it had captured a US-operated Lockheed
Martin RQ-170 Sentinel drone that had crashed in Iran. In April, IRGC officials
said they had managed to reverse engineer technologies from the drone and were
building a copy.