Iran Refuses to Return Captured US Spy Drone
December 13, 2011
Washington are calling for the return of a US spy drone captured by Iran when it flew across their airspace.
On Monday, President Barack Obama called for Iran to return an unmanned spy drone which the Gulf state had captured.
“We have asked for it [the drone] back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond,” Mr Obama said at a joint press conference with the Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki.
The Iranian government is refusing to return the drone. They say that the US should issue them an apology for invading their airspace.
Brigadier general Ahmad Vahidi, Iran’s defence minister, said: “Their [US’s] plane invaded Iran and Iranian forces reacted powerfully. Now, instead of offering an apology to the Iranian nation, they impudently ask for the return of the plane.”
The drone was captured whilst flying over eastern Iran.
It has been identified as a RQ-170 Sentinel. The aircraft is said to be in good condition and has been widely shown on Iranian television as a victory against America. Iranian media has portrayed America as a “beggar”, pleading to have their drone returned.
In total, 186 Iranian legislators have condemned the invasion. They urged members of the international community to act upon this “dangerous act”.
According to Iran’s Official Public News Agency, Iranian military forces shot down the drone. The US claim that the aircraft was taking part in a reconnaissance mission when it malfunctioned and that the drone was not brought down by the Iranian military.
Washington’s main concern is that Iran will tamper with the electronic systems inside the drone. They could reverse-engineer the chemical composition of the radar which could interfere with the aircrafts optics technology. They could also hack the drone’s computer database. It is unclear what information the Iranian’s could gather from hacking the computer system.
The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told VTV: “There are people here who can control this spy plane, surely we can analyze this plane too. The systems of Iran are as advanced as this system.”
Tensions have been growing between the US and Iran. Earlier in the month, the US Senate unanimously voted in favour of imposing economic sanctions against the Iranian oil industry.
By Louisa Guise
[Image courtesy of kamshots]