The infiltration of an Iranian-made drone into Israeli airspace some two weeks ago indicates that Israel would not be able to defend itself in the event of an attack by Iran and its allies, said Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guard Corps.
The Iranian Fars news agency quoted Salami as saying Thursday that the Islamic Republic has the ability to develop drones capable of flying hundreds of kilometers and in the future will be able to build drones with a range of thousands of kilometers.
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"The Zionist regime has introduced a series of psychological measures and diplomatic bluffs against the Islamic revolution, but the infiltration of Hezbollah's drone into the occupied territories showed that these psychological measures were ineffective and only intensified the will of the Zionists' enemies," Salami told a press conference in Tehran. "Now the initiative to act against the Zionist regime is in the hands of the Islamic revolution."
Salami said an Israeli attack on Iran would "present us with a historic opportunity, as Israel's defense systems are vulnerable in the face of an all-out assault by Iran and the Islamic revolution's allies," meaning Hezbollah in Lebanon and the terror groups in Gaza.
The senior Iranian commander said Iran currently possesses the capabilities to develop unmanned aircraft that can fly for hundreds of kilometers, adding that, "inshallah, in the near future we will have the technology to develop drones with a range of thousands of kilometers.
"We saw how after the Zionist regime's leaders threatened Islam the Hezbollah fighters sent an unmanned plane and showed the enemy how weak it is," he said.
On Tuesday a senior Iranian military official claimed that Iranian-made surveillance drones have made dozens of apparently undetected flights into Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years to probe air defenses and collect reconnaissance data. An Israeli official rejected the account.
Meanwhile, senior US officials involved in the investigation into Iranian cyberattacks against American banks said Iranian hackers renewed the campaign this week, targeting Capital One Financial Corp. and BB&T Corp. and openly defying U.S. warnings to halt, U.S. officials and others involved in the investigation into the attacks said.
The officials told The Wall Street Journal that the cyberattacks were sponsored by the Iranian government.