‘We would not hesitate to bring them down’: Iran reveals that it forced an American U2 spy plane to divert from its airspace after targeting it with missile systems

Monday, September 4, 2017
By Paul Martin

Iranian air defenses diverted U.S. U2 spy plane and drone from their airspace
Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili struck a stern tone toward the alleged threat
Iran ‘would not hesitate to bring them down if necessary’ he is quoted as saying
Hostilities between the U.S. and Iran have intensified under Trump’s tenure

By ROD ARDEHALI
DAILYMAIL.COM
4 September 2017

Iranian air defenses were called into action to divert a U.S. ‘spy plane’ and reconnaissance drone near its air space in the last six months, a military official said.

Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili, commander of Iran’s air defence force, said an unmanned RQ-4 drone was intercepted last week.

While a U2 spy plane was warned away in March, the Fars news agency reported.

‘When the warning was given to the pilot of this (U2) plane at the Strait of Hormuz, he knew that he was being targeted by two separate radars … and missile systems,’ Esmaili said.

‘Iran will never allow such hostile planes to approach its airspace and would not hesitate to bring them down if necessary,’ Esmaili added, according to the Tasnim news agency.

U.S. officials have frequently complained of what they call unsafe and unprofessional interactions by Iranian maritime forces in the Gulf this year.

Iran has said its forces act within their rights to protect Iranian territorial waters.

The Trump administration has recently struck a hard line on Iran, accusing Tehran of violating the spirit of an accord with world powers that lifted sanctions and sought to curb The Islamic Republic’s nuclear programme.

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