Tuesday afternoon, a senior Iranian military spokesperson said 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.”
Israeli officials have brushed this off as false information not worthy of an official response.
Additional details were not given on these missions or the capabilities of the said drones by the Iranians.
An Israeli security personage totally rejected these claims, saying last week's interception of a drone was the first time such an infiltration has happened. He told an international news service that “Israel spotted the unmanned aircraft well before it entered Israeli airspace, determined it was not dangerous and then shot it down over uninhabited desert according to plan." The official spoke on condition of anonymity because an Israeli military investigation is still under way.
The Iranian official claimed drones made by the Islamic Republic have made "dozens of flights over Israel" since the summer 2006 war between Hizbullah and Israel. He said Israeli defenses had been unable to detect the surveillance craft.
"The one that was shot down last week was not the first and will not be the last to fly into Israeli airspace," the Iranian official bragged.
On Tuesday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Rahmin Mehmanparast told reporters, "Basically, the possibility of a war breaking out increases when countries don't have the might to defend themselves. But when countries are powerful ... the possibility of aggression decreases…”
Abbas Ali Mansouri, member of the Iranian parliament, said that the drone's flight also showed Hizbullah's growing battlefield capabilities as Tehran's main client militia. "It's crucial that Hizbullah is able to gather remarkable intelligence from inside Israel," he told the press.
At the United Nations, Israeli Ambassador Ron Prosnor condemned Assad, Hizbullah chairman Hassan Nasrallah and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as a "trio of terror."