RNA - "Threat against threat means that if one bullet is fired at us, 10 bullets will be fired at them (the enemy) and they should pay a heavy price," General Shekarchi said in an interview with the Persian-language service of Tasnim news agency on Saturday.
He added that the Iranian Armed Forces as guarantors of security for the Iranian and regional people have this message to the world that "we do not intend to invade any country but if Iran comes under aggression by enemies, they will face an irreparable and historical response that will make them regret".
General Shekarchi said that all moves by enemies, specially the US, are precisely monitored by the Iranian Armed Forces, stressing that any military miscalculation by enemies, specially the US and its allies, in the region will mean firing at a gunpowder store, which hosts the interests of the US and its allies, and setting fire on the entire region that will burn the US, its interests and its allies.
His remarks came after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force shot down an American spy drone over the territorial waters of Iran near the Strait of Hormuz at dawn on Thursday.
The United States had confirmed that one of its reconnaissance planes was shot down by Iranian air defenses, but denied that it intruded into Tehran’s airspace at the time.
Also, US President Donald Trump said the US air force was “cocked and loaded” to attack three Iranian targets on Friday morning, but he called off the strike with 10 minutes to spare after being told that the airstrike might kill as many as 150 people.
Trump said in a series of morning tweets that he decided late on Thursday that the death toll was not a proportionate response to the Iranian shooting down of a US spy drone off the Iranian coast 24 hours earlier.
After Trump's remarks, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said that his forces could have shot down a US P8 aircraft with 35 on board which was violating Iran’s airspace, but decided to shoot down the drone to only send a message to Washington.
“We intended to send a message to American terrorists in the region,” Brigadier General Hajizadeh said on Friday, adding that his forces had also traced a military P8 aircraft violating the airspace of Iran.
“Along with the American drone was an American P8 aircraft with 35 on board, and it was also violating our airspace and we could have downed it too,” he said, adding, “But we did not do [shoot down] it, because our aim was to warn the terrorist forces of the US.”
On Thursday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country had retrieved parts of the US Global Hawk that was shot down from the country's territorial waters, rejecting Washington's claim that the aircraft was targeted in international waters.
"(The) US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode and violated Iranian airspace," Zarif wrote on Twitter, adding that the Global Hawk drone "was targeted near... Kouh-e Mobarak" region in the Central district of Jask in Hormuzgan province after the aircraft violated Iran's airspace.
According to Fars News Agancy, Zarif even provided the coordinates where the US aircraft was intercepted, and added, "We've retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down."
In an earlier tweet, Zarif stated that Iran "will take this US new aggression to [the] UN and show that the US is lying about international waters".
The Iranian foreign minister noted that Tehran does not want war, "but will zealously defend our skies, land and waters".
Meantime, Commander of the IRGC Major General Hossein Salami stressed that the move should alert Washington officials to stay away.
The incident sent "a clear message" to the US and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression, Salami stated.
"Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran's territorial integrity and national interests," the major general noted.