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Iran's IRGC personnel honored for downing US drone

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri (C) shakes hands with one of the personnel behind the downing of an intruding US spy drone over the Persian Gulf, during a ceremony in Tehran on July 4, 2019.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) has held an official ceremony to honor members of its Aerospace Forces for shooting down and later retrieving a US spy drone that had encroached on Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf last month.

The event was held on Thursday with a number of IRGC commanders as well as several lawmakers from the Iranian parliament in attendance.

The MPs particularly thanked divers and patrol units for locating and retrieving the debris of the RQ-4A Global Hawk drone, which was targeted by an indigenous Khordad-3 surface-to-air missile over Iran's territorial waters near the Strait of Hormuz.

The ceremony was held a day after the anniversary of the US Navy's downing of an Iranian passenger jet that left all 295 passengers and the crew onboard dead in 1988.

IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Alireza Tangsiri said at the event that the shooting of the drone and its coincidence with the US shootdown of Iran Air Flight 655 further proved how cruel the United States really is toward Iran.

"The American atrocity on June 3, 1988 took place when the Islamic Republic's passenger plane was flying in its own designated flight path towards Dubai," he said.

"The US drone, on the other hand, was shot down after it breached Iranian airspace and ignored all laws and warnings, and was downed in Iranian territorial waters," Tangsiri added.

"The enemy must be aware that no hostile and aggressive move will go unanswered and the aggressors will get what they deserve," he asserted.

US President Donald Trump said in the aftermath of the drone attack that he had authorized and then quickly called off strikes against Iran following the drone incident.

Iran has made it clear that while it doesn't want war, it is ready to fight one whenever necessary.

Tehran has also warned Washington against testing its will as it would not hesitate to shoot down more intruding drones.

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