Overall, the reactions by Iranian regime officials and mouthpieces to the June 20 downing of the U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk drone reflected pride, depicting it as a legal and immediate reaction to an American invasion of Iranian airspace. Iranian armed forces naval commander Hossein Khanzadi even said that this "teeth-shattering action... is likely to be repeated in a row, and the enemy is aware of this."
Iranian President Hassan Rohani mocked president Trump and his administration, saying that the White House "suffers from mental retardation." Additionally, the regime mouthpiece Kayhan referred to the U.S. "clown administration," calling U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo himself a "clown," and stated that Trump dared not attack Iran because if he did he could "kiss a second [presidential] term goodbye."
View President Rohani's statements on MEMRI TV here or below:
The Trump administration's announcement of sanctions against Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei personally in response to the downing of the drone enraged Iranian officials. President Rohani called it proof that "a particular person" – i.e. Trump – had "lost his senses and done something impudent." Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi tweeted, on June 24, that this move had eradicated the option of negotiations.
Additionally, in a June 22, 2019 Friday sermon in Bandar Abbas, Iranian Ayatollah Gholamali Naeimabadi, Supreme Leader Khamenei's representative in Hormozgan province, said that it had been a "pleasure" to hear that the "accursed" American drone had exploded, adding, "May Trump himself explode soon. We would be even happier." The worshipers, encouraged by Naeimabadi, chanted "Death to America" and "Death to Israel."
View Iranian Ayatollah Gholamali Naeimabadi's statements on MEMRI TV here or below:
The following are the main reactions :
Iranian President Rohani, June 25: "The White House Suffers From Mental Retardation And Has No Idea What It Is Doing... I Kiss The Hands Of Those In The Defense Ministry Who Created This [Air Defense] Industry, And The Hands Of Those In The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps [IRGC], Who Used It So Efficiently"
At a June 25, 2019 meeting with senior medical center officials, Iranian President Hassan Rohani said: "Lately, the Americans are confused, and doing strange things unprecedented in the political world. They are mentally handicapped. The White House suffers from mental retardation, and has no idea what it is doing.
"As for the destruction... of this drone, intercepted by a completely Iranian [defense] system... this action was highly valuable. Had the drone had been shot down by a system such as the Russian S-300, it would not have had such importance, but this system, with missiles and radar, is made in Iran, and I kiss the hands of those in the Defense Ministry who created this [air defense] industry, and the hands of those in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps [IRGC], who used it so efficiently.
"We have no desire to shame America, but this action greatly boosted the morale of the Iranian people, and proved that we have the capability required to confront the enemy's' threats... An aggressor in our airspace will be destroyed within minutes. This demonstrates our strength... The country's borders are our red lines... and we are entitled to self-defense. The Americans, including the Pentagon, CENTCOM, and the White House, were completely confused by this action, and for now they are preoccupied with irrational actions and nonsensical talk.
"The American imposition of sanctions on the highest-ranking political, social, religious, and spiritual man in the country – Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is considered not only Iran's leader, but the leader of all the Shi'ites, Muslims and lovers of the Islamic Revolution worldwide – is ridiculous and impudent. To date, a very large part of the public in Lebanon, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and the rest of the world – Shi'ites and non-Shiites alike – are devotees and lovers of the revolution's great leader, and obey his orders. It is laughable that a particular person [i.e. President Trump] has lost his senses and done something impudent. Khamenei's property [that is subject to the sanctions] comprises a single mosque and an ordinary home. Unlike other world leaders, Iran's leader has no foreign bank accounts with millions of dollars that can be blocked or confiscated. All this shows that the enemy of the Iranian people is today in an abnormal situation and acting accordingly – and it is precisely [this behavior] that boosts the morale of the [Iranian] public, which realizes that the enemy has taken leave of its senses."
Iranian Armed Forces Naval Commander Khanzadi: "This Teeth-Shattering Response Will Be Repeated"
Iranian Armed Forces Naval Commander Rear Adm. Hossein Khanzadi said during a June 24, 2019 visit to the Defense Ministry's academic and industrial centers in the Fars district: "I say clearly that this teeth-shattering action [of downing the drone] is likely to be repeated in a row, and the enemy is aware of this."
Khanzadi (Source: Fars, Iran, June 24, 2019)
On June 25, 2019, Khanzadi said during a visit to Iran's defense industries that "the enemy knows that it will not survive if it goes crazy in the Persian Gulf, and its defeat will not be limited solely to damaged [military] equipment."
Billboard In Mashhad Depicts Aerosol Spray Against U.S. Drones
On June 23, 2019, the Manotonews.com opposition television channel, that broadcasts from London, tweeted a video filmed by an Iranian in the city of Mashhad, about a billboard erected by the Iranian regime in the city's Independence Square. The billboard shows American drones being sprayed like insects with "anti-U.S." drone killer marked "made in Iran."
Mashhad billboard (Source: Twitter.com/manotonews, June 23, 2019)
Kayhan's June 21 Front Page: "A Stinging Iranian Slap In The Face To America"; "Now, Saudi Arabia And The UAE... Will Get Their Share"
On the front page of its June 21, 2019 edition, the regime mouthpiece Kayhan stated: "The IRGC has downed the most advanced American intelligence drone – [in a] stinging Iranian slap in the face to America... The IRGC's blow... was a stinging slap in the face for Trump [as well]. Now, Saudi Arabia and the UAE – Trump's milk cows – will get their share, in light of their role in this anti-Iran operation."
Kayhan's June 22 Front Page: "The American President Did Nothing But Bombard Iran With Tweets!"
The following day, June 22, 2019, Kayhan stated on its front page: "The American army was humiliated; Trump [only] bombarded Iran with tweets! While the Islamic Republic downed the invading American drone, and again humiliated the American army with a decisive response – the American president did nothing but bombard Iran with tweets."
Kayhan's June 22, 2019 front page
Kayhan, June 22: "America Was In Shock At The Downing Of The Drone And Began Talking Nonsense"
Sadollah Zarei, a member of Kayhan's editorial board, wrote in the paper's June 22, 2019 editorial: "America was in shock at the downing of the drone, and began talking nonsense about this drone's location and mission. Each of these [nonsensical statements] brought further humiliation for America... The Iranian forces' hunting down of this drone showed the extent of the groundlessness of the legendary [status] of the 'American military technology and Pentagon operational force.' From here on in, those who purchase American weaponry will doubt its might... It will be very interesting to see the American response to the IRGC's downing of this [extremely] modern and costly intelligence drone. First, America denied that such an attack had taken place... then it denied [Iran's statements about] the type [of drone it was], and [only] later did it agree that it was a super-modern Global Hawk – as Iran had announced immediately ...
"Ultimately, Trump invited to the White House all America's leaders, from army commanders to political leaders, from the Republican party to the Democratic party, from the Senate to Congressmen [sic, House of Representatives], together with administration representatives, in order to reach conclusions and arrive at decisions. In hours-long discussions, they apparently made decisions, even though everyone knows that Trump does not need to please [i.e. does not need the consent of] House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Jewish-American Sen. Chuck Schumer, and other American Congressmen in order to carry out a reprisal against Iran...
"The world noticed that even when all Iran's opponents convene at the White House, they are incapable of taking countermeasures against Iran... But to save face, Trump announced that the outcome of the American leaders' meeting was a decision to attack three Iranian sites. Yet he [then] ordered the [American] army to back down, 10 minutes before the operation was set to begin, for humanitarian reasons...
"The Thursday incident [i.e. the June 20 drone downing] may bring about fundamental developments in the regional situation – namely, the Saudis and the UAE will understand that America cannot help them, and that they must come to terms with 'the reality of the region' and not waste [economic] investment [based on reliance on the U.S.]."
Kayhan, June 22: "This Operation Tested The American Response, And They Have No Way Of Responding Militarily, And If They Carry Out Any Operation At All, They Must Expect Unexpected Events That Are Even Worse"
Another June 22 article in Kayhan stated: "The downing of the Global Hawk 4Q drone – considered the most modern, most expensive, and heaviest intelligence drone, with the longest-range and most advanced launch [capabilities?] in the world over Iran's territorial waters and the Strait of Hormuz – by a surface-to-air missile fired by the defenders of state security sent a clear message to the [American] president and other senior American political and security-intelligence officials: When the Islamic Republic of Iran decides to defend its national interest with its strategic policy, it does not hesitate to do so, and to implement this decision at the right time, and forcefully...
"Detecting and targeting a drone with such tremendous stealth capability, that costs as much as three F-35 attack planes and 14 F-16 planes, shows the high level of Iran's air defense system. [It also shows] that targeting other American combat aircraft is very easy for Iran's air defense system...
"The area where the drone was downed, as it entered the Strait of Hormuz, showed that in the event of any threat or absence of security by America, closing the Strait of Hormuz is not [merely] a slogan! This is especially true because one consequence of the targeting of the American drone amounts to an [Iranian] restriction on American air traffic in the region and a flight ban on its aircraft over the Strait of Hormuz, the Persian Gulf, and the Sea of Oman. The significance of this is the closure of the airspace over the Strait of Hormuz! It showed that there is an option of closing the Strait of Hormuz...
"Iran has at its disposal not only secret weapons, but also top-secret weapons of which the Americans are unaware. Those in charge in the IRGC have announced that they have secret weapons to respond to any invasion. They have yet to announce super-secret weapons...
"In addition to a diplomatic defeat, the drone downing is [also] considered a grave intelligence-security defeat... [U.S.] Secretary of State Pompeo said prior to the downing of the intelligence drone that 'any attack by Tehran or by groups identifying with it resulting in the death of even one American will prompt a reciprocal military operation,' but faced with the downing of such a costly and advanced drone, he dared not take any action, and remained silent... This operation tested the American response, and they have no way of responding militarily, and if they carry out any operation at all, they must expect unexpected events that are even worse..."
Kayhan, June 24: " Hardly A Week Goes By Without The Axis Of Evil [i.e. The U.S. And Its Allies] In The Region Receiving A Smart Blow"
On June 24, Kayhan wrote: "... Hardly a week goes by without the axis of evil [i.e. the U.S. and its allies] in the region receiving a smart blow. The axis of evil brags, but is unexpectedly slapped in the face, and even worse; the blows [it receives] from Iran and its allies are legitimate, legal, and meted out in self-defense..."
Kayhan then summarized the unfolding of events, saying that Trump first threatened to carry out a military attack against Iran, but then said that the downing of the drone was apparently an Iranian mistake. He then thanked Iran for not downing a plane with 30 passengers aboard.
Kayhan continued: "Has America won any war in the past two decades? This is so clear that a braggart like Trump claims [that the U.S. has] spent $7 billion in the Middle East but has achieved nothing, [and also says that] it is sad that he had to fly to Iraq secretly, aboard a plane whose lights [must be] dimmed... What we did against the American drone was deterrence and peace, not war."
Kayhan, June 26: "Despite His Stupidity, Trump Realized That If He Fires At Iran He Will Kiss A Second Term Goodbye"
In its June 26, 2019 editorial, titled "The Clown Administration,' Kayhan stated: "The precise strike on the invading American drone took place the morning after Trump officially announced his candidacy for the 2020 American presidential election; the previous week, he had launched his campaign and [began] making campaign speeches... Despite his stupidity, Trump realized that if he fires at Iran, he will kiss a second term goodbye...
"One of Trump's oft-repeated refrains in recent years concerns Iran's [January 2016] arrest of the American soldiers in the Persian Gulf [in the final year of the Obama presidency], and the historic humiliation suffered by the American military. [Trump] attacked Obama several times, [stating that] his and his administration's weakness had led to this incident, and adding that had he [Trump] been there [in the White House] it would never have happened. The IRGC's swift and decisive action against the military drone invading Iranian airspace, and its downing, showed Trump that the Americans' problem is Iran's might, not who sits in the White House...
"Another clown is [Secretary of State] Pompeo, who traveled to the region to create a strategic alliance against Iran, going to Saudi Arabia and the UAE... The shot [fired] early on the morning [of June 20, 2019 that brought down the drone]... was just one shot, but its value and impact were worth a thousand shots, because it was executed precisely and at the right moment. Even more important than the downing of the American drone is that their [the Americans'] honor is shattered...
"The [U.S.] military option against Iran has been closed for years now, and the Americans know this better than anyone. The only dossier that remains open between Iran and America is the sanctions dossier, and in this arena, Trump has fired his last bullets. In effect, he no [longer has any] leverage to increase the pressure [on Iran]. The adversary's hands are emptier than ever, and it is now up to us to turn the page to our advantage as soon as possible...
"Tomorrow [June 26], Iran's [reserves of] enriched uranium will exceed the [permitted] 300kg limit [as stipulated in] the [JCPOA] nuclear agreement. This is [only] the first step, and the faces of the clowns in the American administration will soon be even redder."
IRGC-Affiliated Javan Daily, June 22: "The Glory Of The American Military System Has Crashed"
On June 22, 2019, the IRGC-affiliated Javan daily wrote: "If to date Iran has ignored the American aerial attacks or vessels and warships, conditions are changing from now on... In the Iranian forces' first step in their 'active resistance,' the glory of the American military system has crashed."
Basij Commander Gheybparvar: The Americans "Were Stricken With Fear" And "Dared Not" Strike
At a June 23 meeting of directors of the Rahian-e Noor groups – students visiting important sites of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88) – Basij commander Gen. Gholamhossein Gheybparvar said: "Following this operation, there was bedlam throughout the enemy camp's infrastructure. It is a sign of Iran's might... Global military science experts know that destroying a drone is unprecedented. [So] what the American president is saying, i.e. that they wanted to attack three sites, is a lie. They were stricken with fear, and dared not do such a thing."
Gen. Gheybparvar (Source: Fars, Iran, June 23, 2019)
IRGC Khatam Al-Anbiya Headquarters Commander Rashid: "The Fates Of The Interests Of The Peoples Of The Region Are Interdependent... Either All Of Them Move [Together]... Or The Region Will Face Instability And War Because Of America"
On June 23, 2019, Maj.-Gen. Gholam Ali Rashid, commander of the IRGC's Khatam Al-Anbiya headquarters, said: "The fates of the interests of the peoples of the region are interdependent, and peace [for one] and war for another is not possible. Either all of them move [together] on a stability track, or the region will face instability and war because of America's policy of interference and incitement against certain countries. Words are not enough to prevent war; there is a need for goodwill and appropriate conduct."
Maj.-Gen. Rashid (Source: Isna.com, Iran, June 23, 2019)
Fars News Agency, June 24: Cartoon Shows Trump Refusing To Attack Iran
On June 24, 2019, the IRGC-affiliated Fars news agency published a cartoon depicting President Trump's refusal to attack Iran, headlined "The Aftershocks Of The Hunting Down Of The American Spy Drone." It shows a defeated Trump being egged on by the Saudi, UAE, and Israeli leaders, telling him "Strike them," "Don't compromise," and "Attack." Trump answers them: "You wretches, these are the people who struck [us] before we attacked them. What will happen when we strike them!!"
Fars cartoon, June 24, 2019.
Khamenei's Representative In IRGC To IRGC Commander, June 25: "My Heartfelt Congratulations On A Successful Valiant And Glorious Deed"
On June 25, 2019, following the downing of the drone, Hojatoleslam Abdollah Hajisadeq, Khamenei's representative in the IRGC, sent a message to IRGC commander Hossein Salami stating: "The zealous IRGC fighters' successful interception of the super-advanced American intelligence drone is only the tip of the capability and progress of the defense industry and of the armed forces' air defense, and is considered a mark of Iran's honor and power. Therefore, I consider myself duty-bound [to offer] you my heartfelt congratulations on a successful valiant and glorious deed achieved, thanks to the steadfast believing colleagues and their scientific and practical capabilities, who obey the supreme cleric [Khamenei]"
Majlis Nuclear Committee Head Zolnur, June 20: A Warning To The Americans
On June 20, 2019, Mojtaba Zolnur, who heads the Majlis Nuclear Committee, called "the downing of the American spy drone" a "warning to the Americans that any attack they carry out will be met with hostility with Iran that will make them sorry... This is a warning to the Americans that Iran's borders are a red line, and Iran will respond decisively to any country that attacks it. The countries in the region, and Iran's neighbors, must know that they are not safe from American spy activity. The Americans cause insecurity in the Middle East."
Mojtaba Zolnur (Source: Tasnim, Iran, June 20, 2019)
Abdollahian, Aide To Majlis Speaker, June 20: A Tweeted "Warning" To Trump
On June 20, 2019, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, special aide to the Majlis speaker, tweeted: "Warning to @ realDonaldTrump: If making a mistake, the end of the line will be determined by a powerful Iran. Today, Trump & White House hawks just received a resolute message from a small portion of Iran's great defense capacities, leading to the shootdown of the US advanced drone." The tweet included a photo of a Global Hawk drone.
Twitter.com/Amirabdolahian/status/1141647128072269825, June 20, 2019
 Several apologists for Iran suggested a literal translation that is uncommon linguistically, to downplay the impact of the statement. While literal translations are accurate by definition, they do not convey what the words are actually used to mean.
 Twitter.com/SAMOUSAVI9/status/1143355106873815045, June 24, 2019.
 Khamenei personally controls a financial empire of about $200 billion by means of the Setad Ejraiye Farmane Hazrate Emam – Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam charitable fund. Reuters.com/investigates/iran/#article/part1, November 11, 2013.
 President.ir, June 25, 2019,
 Kayhan (Iran), June 21, 2019.
 Kayhan (Iran), June 22, 2019
 Kayhan (Iran), June 22, 2019.
 Kayhan (Iran), June 22, 2019.
 Kayhan (Iran), June 24, 2019.
 Kayhan (Iran), June 26, 2019.
 Javan (Iran), June 22, 2019.
 Fars (Iran), June 23, 2019.
 ISNA (Iran) June 23, 2019.
 IRNA, (Iran), June 25, 2016.
 Tasnim, (Iran), June 20, 2019.
 Twitter.com/Amirabdolahian/status/1141647128072269825, June 20, 2019.