Last Update: 09 December 2012 16:44 GMT
|U.S. behavior shows captured drone belonged to it: Iranian official||
TEHRAN – Iranian Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi has said that the behavior of the United States shows that a drone which has recently been captured by Iranian naval forces belonged to it.
The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Naval Force, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, announced on Tuesday that IRGC naval forces had captured a U.S. ScanEagle drone that had violated Iranian airspace.
The drone was captured by air defense units of the IRGC Naval Force when it entered Iranian airspace in the Persian Gulf after it had circulated for a few days in the area.
The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday quoted a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet in Bahrain as saying that all of the U.S. Navy’s unmanned aerial vehicles operating in the Middle East were 100% accounted for.
Cmdr. Jason Salata also said that the U.S. military had been using hundreds of ScanEagles since 2004 in places like Iraq and Afghanistan, and to monitor pirates in the Horn of Africa, adding that other regional governments also used ScanEagle models. Those used by the U.S. fly in international airspace, he added, except in wartime applications in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The U.S. has lost a number of these craft in the waters of the Persian Gulf, though not in the past few months, he said.
“The United States has confirmed that the aircraft belonged to them, and in fact, this country has behaved in such a way that shows that the drone belonged to them,” Vahidi told reporters on Sunday.
Commenting on the movements of U.S. forces in the Persian Gulf region, Vahidi said that Iran should be vigilant about the activities of extra-regional forces in the region and issues necessary warnings in this regard.
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