When the Iranian Revolutionary Guards naval units engaged in a provocative confrontation with US Naval units in 2011 in the Persian Gulf, the Obama Administration requested establishment of a hotline to avoid triggering a conflict. That was rejected by the Islamic Republic. Reza-Khalili reports in a World Net Daily article that following the recent attack on a US drone over the Persian Gulf that, the Obama Administration repeated its request for a hotline, only to have it rejected as a sign of weakness. A Reuters report further suggests that the MQ-1 Predator drone, attacked by two aging Iranian Soviet built Sukhoi -25s, may have collecting information on Tanker traffic at Kharg Island:
Iran believes a US drone targeted by its forces this month was gathering intelligence on oil tankers off its shores, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander told the semi-official Mehr news agency today.
Washington said Iranian warplanes opened fire on an unarmed US drone over international waters on November 1.
Iran said it had repelled an aircraft violating its airspace.
The incident underlined the risk of escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran in an ongoing dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme.
'The drone was flying near Kharg Island and our understanding is that ... it was gathering economic information and intelligence on Kharg Island and oil tankers (in the area),' Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by Mehr.
Facilities on Kharg Island handle most of Iran's crude oil exports.
'The Islamic Republic of Iran has some red lines that the Americans should understand and respect. If this is repeated, we will definitely react,' he added
Kahlili in his WND report, “Iran rejects U.S. hotline request “ notes the comments about the incident by a Senior Military advisor to Iran’s Suprme leader Ali Khamanei:
“The U.S. had requested Iran set up a direct hotline, and Iran rejected the request,” Maj. Gen. Yahya Rahim Safavi, a senior military aide to the supreme leader, said Sunday, according to Fars News Agency, a media outlet run by the Revolutionary Guards.
Kahlili further noted the comments of a Revolutionary Guards officer in their aerospace division:
“This (drone) shooting was a warning to America,” Brig. Gen.Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Guards aerospace division, added Sunday.
“We will not undercut the defense of our national security, and if in the future the enemy crosses our red line and repeats this incident, we will respond in harsher measures,” he told Sepah news, the official site of the Revolutionary Guards.
A more ominous warning about further confrontations was contained in an official analysis of the drone incident was posted on Irannuc.ir,. Kahlili’s conclusions were:
First, this incident demonstrates that the Islamic republic has not counted out a military confrontation with America, the opposite of what the American leadership believes – that Iran won’t look for a confrontation and actually is avoiding such, and its rhetoric is a bluff. According to Iranian military analysts, however, this incident shows that the Islamic republic has the capability to win an asymmetrical war against the U.S. using its own tactics and military capabilities despite U.S. military superiority.
Second, America reacted to the incident cautiously, not militarily, diplomatically or even publicly, in its one public statement. The lack of action in the view of Iranian military analysts means that America is in no way looking for a confrontation with the Islamic republic and in fact has such confrontation as its red line. Therefore, it’s only natural that the Islamic republic is aware of this limited U.S. strategy and will benefit from it.
Lastly, the Islamic republic has decided to respond to U.S. and Israeli actions in Syria and Sudan by showing its capability in confronting the U.S. at its borders, and this, according to its military analysts, will create a tactical deterrence.