Following are excerpts from an interview with General Yahya-Rahim Safavi, General Commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which aired on Channel 2, Iranian TV on August 27, 2006:
General Yahya-Rahim Safavi: A few months ago, the USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier, which, to the best of my recollection, was carrying on deck 72 F-18 planes, and which was escorted by several warships, was circled for about 25 minutes by one of our unmanned planes. The unmanned plane filmed and transmitted the footage. Later, its commander ordered all the planes to be removed from the deck of the aircraft carrier. He even gave an order to hit the unmanned plane, but they were unsuccessful. This unmanned plane returned safe and sound to the coasts of the Persian Gulf.
Obviously, what we did was a response to the fact that more than five unmanned planes were sent into Iran by the Americans or other foreign occupation forces stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. We got hold of those unmanned planes. They did not take responsibility for this operation. [Our operation] was a response to their sending unmanned planes into Iran. This is customary, and we did not violate any international law. However, we have shown them that they are very vulnerable. Even their aircraft carriers and other warships are vulnerable.