Iran displayed on Friday the remaining parts of a US spy drone which was shot down over the Gulf of Oman in the early hours of Thursday morning, a move bound to agitate President Donald Trump’s administration as it ponders its move in response.
Parts of the $130 million RQ-4 Triton drone’s carcass were displayed by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force responsible for its takedown, as Iranian and American officials continue to wrangle over the circumstances around which the drone was shot down.
Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the IRGC Aerospace standing next to the remaining parts of the drone, said on Friday that the spy drone “from the terrorist regime of America” flew from the US Al Dhafra base near Abu Dhabi and entered Iranian airspace at 4am on Thursday morning before the IRGC anti-aircraft missile system engaged the unmanned aerial vehicle.
“Today we transferred the remaining parts which were floating in our waters to Tehran,” Hajizadeh told Iranian TV. “Our national security is our red line and we won’t allow our land to become an arena for the countries outside of the region and the enemy.”
Hajizadeh added that a Boeing P8 plane with 35 crew members aboard flew alongside the drone; breaching Iranian airspace, it could have been shot down, he said, but the IRGC decided not to do so.
IRGC head Hussein Salami said on Thursday that the drone had ventured into Iranian airspace and shooting it down was a clear message to the US administration that Iran is ready to respond to any aggression, but added that Tehran did not want war.