RNA - "We have managed to operationalize the Islamic Republic of Iran's strategy of maintaining and enhancing our deterrence power and we give instantaneous response to enemy aggression powerfully," General Hatami said, addressing a ceremony in Tehran on Sunday.
"That is to say the enemy has recognized the reality of our power, credibility, determination and stability in safeguarding our national security," he added.
The Iranian Defense Ministry in a statement in June underlined the country's high military capabilities and deterrence power, saying that enemies did not dare to launch military war on Iran.
"The great founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran hoisted the flag of freedom and righteousness of the Islamic Republic which was engraved in the memory and the hearts of the lovers of Islam and the Islamic system forever," the statement said.
No problem in West Asia can be solved without Iran's participation, it added, noting that in recent years the defensive and deterrent capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran have multiplied and no enemy dared to threaten the country.
The statement stressed the need for turning the existing economic sanctions into a golden opportunity to attain development and strengthen the country's defense capabilities, adding that Iran is determined to continue this path firmly.
The IRGC Aerospace Force shot down an American spy drone over the territorial waters of Iran near the Strait of Hormuz at dawn on June 20.
After the incident, US President Donald Trump said the US air force was “cocked and loaded” to attack three Iranian targets, 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 tweets that he decided that the death toll was not a proportionate response to the Iranian shooting down of a US spy drone off the Iranian coast.
After Trump's remarks, Commander of the 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, 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.”
General Hajizadeh also stressed that Iran was not after war but was fully ready to defend itself, adding that the fate of the downed US spy drone was waiting for any intruding flying object.
“Our response to anything trespassing Iranian territory is like this, and if such acts of aggression are repeated, our response will also be the same," General Hajizadeh said.
“We don’t embrace war but we are ready to fully defend the country,” he said.
"We possess a collection of US drones which is a proof that US has violated Iran’s airspace and shows that they don’t want to respect the international law,” General Hajizadeh said.
“If such an aggression is repeated, we will add other US (military) products to complete this collection,” he noted.
“The US measure was in violation of international law and we acted according to our legitimate responsibility,” General Hajizadeh said, adding, “It is possible that a US general or some operators were behind this American aggression, we don’t know that. But that measure (intruding into Iranian airspace) is a violation of international aviation rules by a spy drone which then received our natural response."