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Politician In Iran Says The Regular Army Shot Down US Drone, Not IRGC

Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander Major General Hossein Salami and General Amirali Hajizadeh head of IRGC aerospace division (on the right), are among those looking at debris from what Iran presented as a downed US drone. September 21, 2019

An ultraconservative politician in Iran says it was the regular Iranian Army that shot down an American drone on June 20, 2019, but the "credit" was given to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

A pro-reform website, Jamaran cited Abolfazl Tavakkoli Bina a member of the central council of Islamic Coalition Party (ICP) , as saying in a speech on Saturday, October 12, "It was the Army that hit the [U.S.] drone, not the IRGC. Eight Army officers were sent to Hajj as an award for shooting down the drone. I was a roommate with five of them in Medina, and three others in Mecca. All of them were high-ranking officers, the ones that manufactured jets for the Islamic Republic."

Furthermore, Tavakkoli Bina maintained that the Islamic Republic Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei presented a ring to the officer who had pushed the button of the rocket that brought down the U.S. drone. Nevertheless, it was the IRGC that took the credit and was glorified for the incident.

Earlier, the Islamic Republic official media had repeatedly praised the IRGC's missiles unit for the "courageous" hit.

Immediately after the incident, the IRGC took responsibility for the drone's downing, saying it was flying over Iran's airspace.

However, the Chief Commander of the IRGC's Aerospace Force, Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, admitted on September 15 that he was informed about the incident after the drone was shot down.

The RQ-4A Global Hawk drone is essentially a high-altitude unmanned plane used for surveillance over the ocean and coastal areas.

The drone was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile. Both United States Central Command and the IRGC said that the high-altitude drone was shot down by a surface-to-air missile. In the meantime, the regular Iranian Army remained silent.

The United States says that the drone was hit while it was flying over international waters.

Neither the regular Army, nor the IRGC has so far reacted to Tavakkoli Bina's remarks.