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Airspace breach by US drone will be strongly dealt with, says Iran

Tehran: On Sunday, Iran has notified Pentagon that they would not ignore the interference of US drones in their airspace and any breach will be strongly dealt with.

The news was publicised by ISNA news agency, where the Iranian officials warned US of any airspace violation. It is to be noted that just 11 days ago, Iranian warplanes opened fire at the US drones, alleging an intrusion of Iranian airspace.

According to a renowned website, General Amir-Ali Hadjizadeh told ISNA agency that, “Yes, we opened fire, and it was with warning shots. If they do it again they can expect an even stronger response.” General Hadjizadeh is the chief of elite Revolutionary Guards air and space forces.

On the other hand, American officials claimed that the US drones never entered Iranian airspace. An executive of the Pentagon, George Little proclaimed last Thursday that Iranian Su-25 frogfoot fighters attacked robotic Predators done on 1st November but missed it.

Little stressed that they never violated Iranian airspace but still came under the fire attack over the international waters away from the Iranian coast. Consequently, Pentagon sent a warning to Tehran, expressing that US is ready to protect its forces and such actions will not be tolerated in future.

“We have a wide range of options, from diplomatic to military, to protect our military assets and our forces in the region and will do so when necessary,” said Little in his warning message.

The Defence Minister of Iran, Ahmad Vahidi substantiated the warning shots over US drones, saying that they reached the Iran’s territorial water in the Persian Gulf area.

Hadjizadeh also said that the quick response of Iranian warplanes caused the US drone to turn back quickly otherwise it might have travelled more into the Iranian airspace.

The Iranian General told that the US drone was “flying over Kharg island to gather information about economic activity on the island, and the arrival and departure of oil tankers.” Kharg is the key export terminal of Iran that is only 15 miles away from the Iranian main territory.

The US along with the European nations have criticised Iran over its contentious nuclear aims that Israel thinks are focused on making atomic weapons.

Not to mention, Iran is facing these allegations from quite a time and has always said that its project of Uranium enrichment is peace oriented, stressing that it is used only for energy and medical intentions.

This drone incident took place only a week before the US presidential election whereas the Pentagon confirmed it only after the news of altercation came out.

With the growing tensions between Iran and US and the re-election of Barack Obama as the president, it would be interesting to see in what direction the United States drive its relationship with Iran.

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