TEHRAN — Iran
’s defense minister on Friday confirmed that Iranian warplanes had fired shots at an American drone
last week, but said that they had taken the action after the unmanned aircraft had entered Iranian airspace.
He said the intruder had been “forced to escape,” after action by Iran’s Air Force.
"Early last week, a U.S. drone which had violated Iran’s airspace received a decisive response by the armed forces that were stationed in the region,” he said in a Friday interview with the Young Journalist Club, a semiofficial Iranian news agency. He said the drone had “entered our country’s airspace with an aim to gather information because there is no other justification.”
The Predator’s sensor technology is so sophisticated that it could have monitored activities in Iran from the distance cited by the Pentagon officials.
The Iranian firing on the aircraft had been completely legal, Mr. Jokar said. “Any violation against Iran’s airspace, territorial waters and land will receive a strong response by the Islamic republic of Iran