RNA - "If Trump claims that Iran has made a mistake, the Americans' mistake is much bigger when they did not assess the possible response of their rival and sent the drone to a sensitive and volatile region which has witnessed unprecedented tensions, war of oil tankers and bombing of airports and water and power plants in the depth of the US allies' territories," Atwan wrote on Saturday.
He referred to the remarks by Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hossein Salami who has described the Iranian borders as red line, and said, "The only profound interpretation of the IRGC threat is that Iran is yet to unveil a bigger response and a more crushing response will wait for future aggressions."
Atwan expressed confidence that Iran's decision to shoot down the US drone was not unexpected, noting that the reaction was naturally shown in line with a strategy approved by senior Iranian military commanders several months ago to confront any intruder plane, tank or missile.
An American spy drone was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force over Iranian airspace at dawn on Thursday. According to the IRGC, the US military surveillance drone was flying with its tracking equipment switched off at the time, violating international aviation regulations.
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.
Tehran has released two videos that show the flight route of the plane as well as the moment it was brought down by an Iran-made air defense shield called 'Third of Khordad'.
On Thursday evening, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country has retrieved parts of the US Global Hawk that was shot down on Thursday morning 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.
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".
According to Fars News Agancy, the Iranian foreign minister noted that Tehran does not want war, "but will zealously defend our skies, land and waters".
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.