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 Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid