TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- A senior IRGC commander said Sunday U.S. President Donald Trump’s lie about downing an Iranian drone was so big that even the Iranian military first believed it and checked to see if any of its drones had been targeted.
"After Trump’s claim that the U.S. had shot down an Iranian drone, we checked our various drone units for several ties,” IRGC Aerospace commander Brigadier General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh said.
Iran first believed Trump’s claim because "it was not believable for us that he would personally tell such a big lie on TV,” he added.
"That was why we had a few hours of delay in dismissing the news, and finally we found out that our unmanned aerial vehicle had monitored the U.S. fleet’s activity from the time it entered into the Strait of Hormuz to the time it left the strait,” he noted.
General Hajizadeh said the U.S. president later blamed his national security advisor John Bolton for the lie.
Trump claimed that an American warship had destroyed the drone after it came within 914-metres of the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps later released footage which proved the U.S. president wrong.
"Unlike Trump’s delusional and groundless claim, all drones belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, including the one mentioned by the U.S. president, have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out their scheduled surveillance and control operations,” armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi also said.
The American political newspaper and website the Hill on Friday said Iran is becoming a drone superpower.
"Iran’s drone technology appears to be growing more sophisticated,” it said. "Since the 1980s, Iran sought to build up a force of locally produced drones.”
The article said Iran wants to show off its drones, at home and abroad, to show it can get around U.S. sanctions and continue to develop this military capability.
"This is why, from January to July, Iran has been conducting drone exercises and has said that it even monitored the movements of a U.S. aircraft carrier. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which Washington designated a terrorist organization, is spearheading these recent drone efforts.”
"In any future conflict with Iran that might involve the U.S. and its allies against Iran and its proxies, the drone threat will need to be addressed,” the Hill warned.
"It is a clear symbol of Iran’s growing footprint across the Middle East, which stretches from Beirut to Damascus, Baghdad and Yemen via the Gulf of Oman.”