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Iran Claims It Captured Drone, U.S. Denies It

Published: December 5, 2012 (Issue # 1738)


TEHRAN, Iran Iran claimed Tuesday it had captured a U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf even showing an image of a purportedly downed craft on state TV but the U.S. Navy said all its unmanned aircraft in the region were fully accounted for.

The conflicting accounts still leave the possibility that the drone claimed by Iran, a Boeing-designed ScanEagle, could have been plucked from the sea in the past and unveiled for maximum effect following escalating tensions over U.S. surveillance missions in the Gulf.

Other countries in the region such as the United Arab Emirates also have ScanEagle drones in their fleets.

Commander Jason Salata, a spokesman for the U.S. Navys 5th Fleet in Bahrain, said ScanEagles operated by the Navy have been lost into the water over the years, but there is no record of that occurring most recently.

The Iranian announcement did not give details on the time or location of the claimed drone capture.

Its certain, however, to be portrayed by Tehran as another bold challenge to U.S. reconnaissance efforts in the region. Last month, the Pentagon said a drone came under Iranian fire in the Gulf but was not harmed. A year ago, Iran managed to bring down an unmanned CIA spy drone possibly coming from Afghanistan.

Iran also has recently alleged repeated airspace violations by U.S. drones, which Washington denies.

The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles operating in the Middle East region, said Salata. Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized waters and airspace.

Iran claimed it captured the drone after it entered Iranian airspace. A report on state TV quoted the navy chief of Irans powerful Revolutionary Guard, General Ali Fadavi, as saying the Iranian forces caught the intruding drone, which had apparently taken off from a U.S. aircraft carrier.

The U.S. drone, which was conducting a reconnaissance flight and gathering data over the Persian Gulf in the past few days, was captured by the Guards navy air defense unit as soon as it entered Iranian airspace, Fadavi said. Such drones usually take off from large warships.

Al-Alam, the Iranian state TVs Arabic-language channel, showed two Guard commanders examining what appeared to be an intact ScanEagle drone. It was not immediately clear if that was the same drone Iran claimed to have captured.

In the footage, the two men then point to a huge map of the Persian Gulf in the background, showing the drones alleged path of entry into Iranian airspace.

We shall trample on the U.S., was printed over the map in Farsi and English next to the Guards emblem.

If true, the seizure of the drone would be the third reported incident involving Iran and U.S. drones in the past two years.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Sept. 19


SPIBAs newest addition to their Cultural Discoveries events is Handmade in Germany, an exhibition featuring unique handmade objects of a significantly higher quality than mass-produced items. The work of over 100 German manufacturers will be displayed during the event, which opens today in the Lutheran Church of Saint Peter and Paul on Nevsky Prospekt and runs through Sept. 28.



Saturday, Sept. 20


Starting on Sept. 18 and ending tomorrow is the Extreme Fantasy Wakeboarding Festival in Sunpark by Sredny Suzdalskoye lake in the Ozerki region of the city.


Those after something more laid back can instead head to Jazz and Wine night at TerraVino with legendary jazz guitarist Ildar Kazahanov. 12/14 Admiralteyskaya Emb.



Sunday, Sept. 21


Learn more about African culture and get some exercise during todays Djembe and Vuvuzela, a bike ride starting in Palace Square that includes several stops where riders can listen to the music of Africa or watch short films about the continent. The riders plan to set off at 4 p.m. and all you need to join is a set of wheels.



Monday, Sept. 22


Do you love puppetry? If so, then be sure to go to BTK-Fest, a five-day festival that starts on Sept. 19 celebrating the art. Contemporaries from France, Belgium, the U.K. and other countries will join Russian artists to put on theatrical performances involving a variety of themes, materials and eras. Workshops and meetings are also scheduled for a chance to discuss the artistic medium in further depth.



Tuesday, Sept. 23


Marina Suhih, Director of the External Communications Department at Rostelecom North-West, and Yana Donskaya, HR Director for Northern Capital Gateway are just some of the confirmed participants of todays round table discussion on Interaction with Trade Unions being hosted by SPIBA. Confirm your attendance with SPIBA by Sept. 22.


Kino Expo 2014, an international film industry convention, will be at LenExpo from today until Sept. 26. The third largest exhibition of film equipment in the world, the expo focuses on not only Russia but former Soviet republics as well.



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