News / Middle East

US Asks Iran to Return Lost Drone

This photo released on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and taken at an undisclosed location claims to show the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone which Tehran says its forces downed earlier this week
This photo released on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and taken at an undisclosed location claims to show the US RQ-170 Sentinel drone which Tehran says its forces downed earlier this week

The United States said Monday that it has formally asked Iran to return an American surveillance drone that fell into Iranian hands earlier this month.  Iran says it is extracting technology from the lost aircraft and will build copies of it.  

U.S. officials had been circumspect about the drone, which Iranian Revolutionary Guards were filmed inspecting last week.

Now the authenticity of the pictured aircraft is not being disputed, and President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton say the United States wants it back.

At his news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, the president was asked whether the loss of the drone would undermine U.S. national security.

“With respect to the drone inside of Iran, I’m not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified," said President Obama. "As has already been indicated, we have asked for it back.  We’ll see how the Iranians respond.”

The request is understood to have been conveyed to Tehran by the Swiss government, which represents U.S. interests in Iran in the absence of diplomatic relations.

The U.S. government has not commented on the mission of the unmanned aircraft, which appears to be an RQ-170 Sentinel drone with advanced stealth technology.

News reports have said it was on a surveillance mission over Afghanistan and strayed into Iranian airspace or that it was spying on Iran’s nuclear program when ground controllers lost contact with it.  Iran says it brought down the plane with a cyber attack, but aviation experts say the plane probably malfunctioned.

At a press event with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Secretary of State Clinton said the return of the drone is unlikely.

“We very clearly are making known our concerns," said Clinton. "We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment as we would in any situation to any government around the world.  Given Iran’s behavior to date, we do not expect them to comply.”

Iran has sent a letter of protest to the United Nations over the drone incident, accusing the United States of provocative actions and violating international law.

A member the Iran’s parliament says Iranian military experts are in the final stages of extracting data from the drone and soon will be able to copy and mass produce the plane - a claim that has been ridiculed by Western defense experts.

In his comments with Secretary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary Hague said his government has not given up on engagement with Iran.

But he said recent events, including last month’s mob attack on the British embassy in Tehran, suggest that at least some elements of Iran's leadership are bent on confrontation with the West.

“We have seen an increasing predilection for dangerous and illegal adventures on the part of at least part of the Iranian regime," said Hague. "It may not be the work of a united Iranian regime.  But from at least part of the Iranian regime, such actions have been sanctioned.”

Hague said the European Union plans to tighten nuclear sanctions on Tehran next month with tougher measures focused on Iran’s financial, energy and transport sectors.  He said pressure will be increased as long as Iran’s nuclear program continues “with no adequate explanation of a peaceful purpose.”  

You May Like

UN: 1 Million Somalis at Risk of Hunger

Group warns region is in dire need of humanitarian aid, with at least 200,000 children under age of five acutely malnourished as drought hits southern, central part of nation More

Human Rights Groups Allege Supression of Freedoms in Thailand

Thailand’s military, police have suppressed release of independent report assessing human rights in kingdom during first 100 days of latest coup More

Jennifer Lawrence Contacts FBI After Nude Photos Hacked

'Silver Linings Playbook' actress' photos were posted on image-sharing forum 4chan; Federal Bureau of Investigations is looking into matter More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forcesi
X
September 02, 2014 12:58 PM
A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Ukraine Schools Resume Classes, Donate to Government Forces

A new school year has started in Ukraine but thousands of children in the war-torn east are unable to attend because of ongoing clashes with pro-Russia rebels. In Ukraine's capital, patriotic education has become the norm along with donations to support injured security forces fighting to take back rebel-held areas. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video US Detainees Want Negotiators for Freedom in North Korea

The three U.S. detainees held in North Korea were permitted to speak with foreign media Monday. The government of Kim Jong Un restricted the topics of the questions, and the interviews in Pyongyang were limited to five minutes. Each of the men asked Washington to send a representative to Pyongyang to secure his release. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti has our story.
Video

Video Internet, Technology Offer New Tools for Journalists

The Internet and rapidly evolving technology is quickly changing how people receive news and how journalists deliver it. There are now more ways to tell a story than ever before. One school in Los Angeles is teaching the next generation of journalists with the help of a state-of-the-art newsroom. Elizabeth Lee has this report.
Video

Video Turkmen From Amerli Describe Survival of IS Siege

Over the past few weeks, hundreds of Shi'ite Turkmen have fled the town of Amerli seeking refuge in the northern city of Kirkuk. Despite recent military gains after U.S. airstrikes that were coordinated with Iraqi and Kurdish forces, the situation remains dire for Amerli’s residents. Sebastian Meyer went to Kirkuk for VOA to speak to those who managed to escape.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.

AppleAndroid