Iran’s “capabilities are very high and are at the disposal of Islamic nations,” Defence Minister Ahmad Vahidi says (AFP, Vahid Reza Alaei)

TEHRAN — Iran on Sunday scoffed at Israel’s air defences as it confirmed Tehran had provided Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah with the sophisticated drone which overflew the Jewish state earlier this month.

Iran’s “capabilities are very high and are at the disposal and service of Islamic nations,” Defence Minister General Ahmad Vahidi said, quoted by state television when questioned on the origins of the unmanned aerial vehicle.

“It is natural to use whatever we have at our disposal at the necessary time to defend the lands of the Islamic world,” the general said. “This move shows that Hezbollah is fully prepared … and will respond to the Zionist regime.”

He said the drone which overflew Israel “shattered everything that was said about the Iron Dome system (Israel’s air defence shield) and it became clear that the Zionist regime can not escape Muslim anger.”

Iran has developed a programme of manufacturing drones to be used for surveillance and attacks.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah boasted last week that his group sent a sophisticated unmanned drone over Israel, saying the device was built by the Jewish state’s archfoe Iran.

His acknowledgement of the drone which Israel shot down on October 6 came shortly after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pointed at Hezbollah and vowed to defend his country against further “threats.”

Nasrallah said the latest drone was “Iranian built and assembled in Lebanon.”

Israeli Air force jets shot down the unarmed drone over southern Israel’s Negev desert after it entered the country’s airspace from the Mediterranean Sea.