Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei fired Iranian air force commander Brigadier General Farzad Ismaili, who had been in office since 2010, because the latter had hid from him the fact that Israeli F-35 planes had penetrated Iran’s sky, the Kuwaiti daily Al Jarida reported on Saturday.
The newspaper emphasized that it was the original media source that exposed the Israeli raids, which had taken place last March. Al Jarida cited senior Iranian military who said that only following its March report did the intelligence services of the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian intelligence ministry begin to investigate the case, under direct orders from Khamenei.
According to the newspaper’s investigation, the IAF F-35 “Adir” planes penetrated Iran’s airspace, circled high above Tehran, Karajrak, Isfahan, Shiraz and Bandar Abbas – and photographed Iran’s air defense system.
One of the sources reported that Iran’s air defense system, including its Russian radar, did not detect the entry and exit of the fighter planes, and that Ismaili hid this information from the supreme leader to cover his corps’ failure. However, three weeks ago, Iranian intelligence discovered that the Israeli fighter jets had carried out this sortie as a test of the possibility of an undetected military attack on Iranian outposts and bases, during which they photographed those sensitive bases, evading the Russian S-300 missile system’s radar.
According to Al Jarida, Iranian intelligence received top secret information that the Israeli fighter planes even managed to photograph Iran’s underground bases. Khamenei, who received this information, now suspects a cooperation between Russia and Israel, and that the Russians gave Israel the secret code of the Russian radar in Iran – according to the Kuwaiti newspaper.
Khamenei fired the commander of Iran’s air defense system on May 29, replacing him with his deputy, General Alireza Sabahi-Fard.