First Published: 2012-12-05

 

Iran tells US to 'recount' drones

 

Revolutionary Guards spokesman says capture of US drone is not issue Americans can easily refute.

 

Middle East Online

TEHRAN - Iran's Revolutionary Guards are telling the United States to "recount" the drones in its fleet as they insist that -- despite US denials -- they captured a small US unmanned spy plane over Gulf waters, Iranian media said Wednesday.

"Its capture is not an issue the Americans can easily refute," Guards spokesman Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif was quoted as saying.

"I advise the American commanders to recount their drones accurately," he said.

The Guards on Tuesday claimed to have recently captured a ScanEagle drone, a low-cost, short-range unmanned aircraft made by Boeing that measures 1.4 metres (4.5 feet) long and with a wingspan of three metres (10 feet).

They said the craft was seized in Iranian airspace but gave no details about how it was captured intact, nor where or when. State television showed images of what it said was the drone: a grey, unmarked vehicle suspended in a hangar.

A spokesman for the US Fifth Fleet based in the Gulf said none of its drones was missing, and a White House spokesman said there is "no evidence" the Iranian claim was true.

A year ago, Iran displayed a bigger and vastly more sophisticated US drone, a bat-winged stealth RQ-170 Sentinel, it said it had captured by hacking its guidance system.

US officials, after initially denying that Sentinel drone had been inside Iran airspace, ended up admitting it had been lost during a CIA mission, but contended it had likely suffered a malfunction that brought it down. US President Barack Obama unsuccessfully asked Iran to return it.

The ScanEagle that Iran says it now possesses is a much cheaper, simpler drone than the RQ-170 Sentinel. It is principally designed to feed back video images over a radio link to operators up to 100 kilometres (60 miles) away.

US and allied forces used ScanEagles in Iraq and Afghanistan, and several other countries operate the drone, including Australia, Canada, Poland and the United Arab Emirates, according to Boeing background information. The drone is also used for civilian purposes such as tracking fish or oil platform observation.

Sharif maintained the Guards' assertion that the drone held by Iran came from a US Navy vessel in the Gulf, but no evidence was given to support that.

Speaking to the Etemad daily, Sharif said the drone was on a reconnaissance mission hovering over Iranian military sites and oil terminals.

"We have extracted data off the drone... it shows what the Americans were looking for," Sharif said.

"The drone was gathering intelligence on military (objectives) as well as the energy sector, particularly oil transitions at terminals," he said without further elaboration.

He said "more information would be released if necessary."

Sharif also insisted "the Americans will sooner or later confirm that their drone has been captured."

 

‘War’ in Sinai Peninsula as clashes with ISIS fighters rage on

Kuwait makes DNA tests mandatory after suicide bombing

Yemen rebels free 1,200 prisoners

Palestinian PM to make 'temporary' cabinet reshuffle

Number of migrants crossing Med swells to 83% in first half of 2015

Kuwait parliament approves deficit budget on oil slide

Pro-Erdogan candidate becomes new speaker of Turkey parliament

All 38 victims of Tunisia beach massacre identified

36 killed in wave of IS attack on Egyptian soldiers

Iran vs. Israel gets cartoon treatment

IAEA chief to fly to Iran for nuclear talks

Saudi prince pledges fortune to charity

Syria Kurds regain full control of Tal Abyad

20 civilians killed in rebel fire on Yemen's Aden

Iran nuclear talks go into extra time

Gulf states urged to follow Kuwait on maid rights

Negotiators extend deadline for Iran nuclear talks

‘Islamic State’ re-enters Syria border town of Tal Abyad

Defiant tourists stay in Tunisia

Deadly clashes rage on in eastern Libya

Only mobile phone company in Gaza closed by Hamas

Zarif keeps cards close to chest as he meets Kerry

Orange reaches deal with Israel's Partner after spat

Kuwait in ‘state of war’ after mosque suicide bombing

Iranians take to streets of Tehran to demand ‘good nuclear deal’

Turkey 'ready to help' Greece out of economic crisis

Sisi pledges tougher laws against militants after prosecutor killing

French prosecutor confirms IS link to factory beheading

Tunisia ‘was not prepared’ for beach massacre

Tunisia makes first beach massacre arrests

Tunisia attack set to wipe $500 million off economy

IS beheads two female ‘sorcerers’ in Syria

US resumes security aid to Bahrain

28 killed in IS attack on Huthi rebel leaders in Sanaa

Britons death toll in Tunisia attack to soar to 'around 30'

US official says method found for access to suspect Iran sites

Turkey holds top security meet

Israel to Syria rebels: 'Don't mess with the Druze'

Egypt state prosecutor dead after Cairo bomb attack

Iranians anxious as talks stumble

Qatar concedes 'much more needs to be done' on labour law

'Unprecedented situation' for Sudan's journalists

Egypt's state prosecutor injured in bomb attack

UAE woman sentenced to death for killing US teacher

Israel escorts flotilla defying Gaza blockade