Commander: Enemies Fearful of Iranian Air Force

February 7, 2009, Tehran -- Iranian Air force Commander Brigadier General Hassan Shahsafi said that enemies felt frightened after Iranian Air Force fighters forced several alien planes to land in Iran last year.

"Forcing aggressive planes during this (Iranian) year (ending on March 20) caused deep fright in the heart of the sworn enemies of the (Iran's) revolution," Shahsafi said, addressing a large and fervent congregation of worshippers on Tehran University Campus here on Friday.

In October, Iranian Air Force fighters forced a NATO Falcon to land after the jet violated Iran's airspace.

The NATO jet had entered Iranian airspace from Turkey despite repeated warnings by the Islamic Republic Air Force.

Also later in October, Iranian warplanes forced a Belarusian fighter jet to land for interrogations after the plane violated the country's airspace.

In both cases Iranian authorities allowed the planes to continue their path as interrogations revealed that the pilots had violated Iranian airspace unintentionally.

The commander further noted the successes made by the Iranian air force following the Islamic Revolution, and announced, "Training the needed specialists at Sattari training center, manufacturing the most sensitive aircraft equipment, manufacturing Tondar, Azarakhsh and Saeqeh fighter-bombers are among the achievements of the Iranian air force after the Revolution."

He also referred to optimization of different types of weapons, including surface-to-surface, air-to-surface and air-to-air missiles, production of different types of explosives and long-range flights and fighter-to-fighter fueling as among the other achievements of the force. (

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