Iran Guards shoot down two `Western spy` drones

Iran`s Revolutionary Guards have shot down two "Western spy" drones in the Gulf.

Updated: Jan 02, 2011, 21:23 PM IST

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 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 weapons capability.

Many Western governments believe Iran`s nuclear
programme 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 per cent of the world`s oil supplies pass
through the Strait of Hormuz.

PTI