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."

 

Unstable dam affecting Mosul recapture

Turkey summons US envoy over Syria Kurds row

‘Hell’ falling on Aleppo

Abu Dhabi Crown Prince in India: String of trade, security deals expected

Jihadist attacks bring Egypt's tourist industry to its knees

EU tells members to accelerate refugee relocation

Syria regime's Aleppo offensive kills more than 500

Ex-Israeli PM’s prison sentence extended

Enormous challenges emerge after full liberation of Ramadi

Hamas fighter dies in latest tunnel collapse

Aleppo siege spells trouble for the West

Egypt policeman jailed for beating vet to death

How many civilians are living under 'surrender or starve' sieges in Syria?

NATO to consider policing refugee crisis

Iran deal will delay bomb up to 15 years

Top spy warns homegrown extremists pose biggest danger to US

UN to Turkey: Open borders to stranded Syria refugees

From Muslim Chechnya to ISIS: Spies collect intelligence to help Russia

Kurdish leader accuses Ankara of 'massacre' over Cizre operation

Kremlin rebukes Merkel over criticism of Russia air strikes in Syria

Nine killed in Damascus car bomb attack

Approval of reformists raises potential for change in Iran

Saudi Patriot missile shoots down Scud fired from Yemen

Syria artists find inspiration in haunting ruins of Homs

Pentagon chief seeks anti-IS support in Europe

Border camps full as Syria families escape regime offensive

Iraq military advance reopens Ramadi-Baghdad road

IEA holds OPEC responsible for oil supply glut

Iraqi woman charged over US hostage death

Mubarak era ‘reappears’ five years after his ouster

Gunbattle between Yemeni forces, Qaeda militants in Aden

UAE tries 'Hezbollah', 'Qaeda' cell members

US welcomes Saudi offer to deploy troops in Syria

Israel sets two conditions for return of Palestinian bodies

Moscow denies accusation that air strikes undermined Syria talks

Israeli general says IS wounded were treated in Gaza

Doctors, police protest in northern Iraq

Canada to cease all air strikes against ISIS by February 22

Outraged Italy demands answers over brutal killing of student in Egypt

Libya Presidential Council needs ‘more time’ to form unity government

Pressure on multiple fronts squeezes rebels in northern Syria

Bahrain charges 11 with forming 'terrorist' group

Obama to Arab countries: security requires 'inclusive government'

Tunnel collapse kills one Gazan man on Egypt border

South Sudan war zones on the brink of famine