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."

 

Libya loses control of Tripoli to Islamist-led militias

Iraq presses fightback against jihadist-led militants

Thousands of Huthis defy UN in new show of strength

Britain to go tougher on jihadist suspects

Saudi religious police at heart of new scandal

Algeria hosts new round of Mali peace talks

US launches new round of air strikes around Iraq dam

Turkey summons US charge d'affaires over Snowden claims

Turkey new PM promises peace with Kurds

Will UN Human Rights Council investigate IS abuses?

Iran convicts Ahmadinejad's vice president for embezzlement

Fierce clashes shatter uneasy calm near armistice line in Golan Heights

Turkey detains dozens of police in new nationwide raids

Wounded Gazans need long-term care

Libyan Islamist militiamen control US embassy compound

Israel shoots down drone over occupied Golan Heights

Yemen army suffers heavy losses in new wave of Qaeda attacks

Turkish army breaks silence on Kurdish peace talks

Islamic State offers grim inspiration to African extremists

Shebab target intelligence HQ in Somalia

Israel expropriates 988 acres of Palestinian land in West Bank

Iraq recaptures Amerli from Islamic State in biggest success so far

Saudi King calls for ‘strong and rapid action’ against jihadists

Jihadists distribute Yazidi women as spoils of war to fighters

Gulf countries resolve six-month dispute with Qatar

Egypt reduces Badie death sentence to life in prison

AU forces liberate former Shebab stronghold in Somalia

Philippines enters war in Syria!

Kurds put aside old rivalries to battle jihadists in Iraq

Iran says new sanctions cast doubt on US sincerity

US imposes new sanctions on Iran

US supplies arms to Lebanon to fight jihadists

Britain terror threat level raised to ‘severe’

Libya conflict takes its toll on migrants

UN chief lashes out at 'brutal' IS killings in Iraq

Over three million Syrian refugees have fled war

Libya's troubled interim government steps down

Obama admits 'no strategy yet' to fight IS

Israel counts losses and gains in Gaza: Heavy cost for 50 days of war

Saudi Crown Prince flies to France next week: Jihadist threat tops agenda

UN confirms capture of UN peacekeepers in Syria Golan

Islamic State executes dozens of Syria soldiers in new atrocity

'Jihad recruiters' arrested in Netherlands, Germany

Saudi Grand Mufti warns youth against ‘perverted’ calls for jihad

Neo-Ottomanism scores new victory in Turkey: From Ataturk to Erdogan