Iran's defense minister says Hezbollah's
launch of a drone
airspace earlier this week proves Iranian military capabilities.
The Sunday statement by Gen. Ahmad Vahidi on Iranian state television came several days after the Lebanese
militant group's leader Sheik Hassan Nasrallah
for the launch and said the aircraft was made in Iran.
Israeli warplanes shot down the unmanned plane, but the infiltration marked a rare breach of Israel's tightly guarded airspace.
"Great job by Hezbollah," Gen. Vahidi said. He said Hezbollah had the right to launch the drone since Israeli warplanes routinely violate Lebanon's airspace.
Site of drone's downing in Negev (Photo: Haim Horenstein)
Nasrallah warned Thursday that it would not be the last such operation by the group.
Meanwhile, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaeili, Iran's air defense commander said that Iran has built a new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle dubbed "Hazem."
Esmaeili told Fars News Agency that "Hazem" has long-range flight capabilities and can be used for reconnaissance and bombing.
Lebanese Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour further said Sunday that sending the Hezbollah drone into Israeli airspace was not in violation of UN Resolution 1701, which means to anchor the Israel-Lebanon ceasefire.
Mansour was quoted by the Lebanese website Nahar.net as saying that Israel "has violated the resolution tens of thousands of times… Hezbollah's unmanned drone that flew over Israel recently does not violate the resolution."
AP contributed to this report