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Iran ‘will arm Palestinians’, says military commander



Tehran: Tehran will "accelerate" arming Palestinians in retaliation for Israel deploying a spy drone over Iran, which was shot down, a military commander said on Monday.

"We will accelerate the arming of the (occupied) West Bank and we reserve the right to give any response," said General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of aerial forces of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, in a statement on their official website sepahnews.com.

Last month, Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Islamic world to arm Palestinians to allow them to counter what he called Israel's "genocide" in Gaza.

He also said Israel was acting like a "rabid dog" and "a wild wolf", causing a human catastrophe that must be resisted.

Iran's warning on Monday came a day after the Guards said they had downed an Israeli "Hermes" stealth drone above the Natanz uranium enrichment site in the centre of the country.

Natanz is Iran's main uranium enrichment site, housing more than 16,000 centrifuges. Around 3,000 more are at the Fordo plant, buried inside a mountain and hard to destroy.

Hajizadeh said at a news conference broadcast on television that the unmanned aircraft shot down was a "Hermes" stealth drone that "can evade radar".

"Pieces of the drone have been recovered intact and are being analysed," he said, adding that it had a range of 800 kilometres (500 miles).

"It was spotted by our surveillance system and shot down by a Revolutionary Guards surface-to-air missile," Hajizadeh said.

According to Hajizadeh, the drone was equipped with two cameras capable of taking high-quality images.

Footage of the recovered drone pieces was aired on Iranian television.

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