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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.





 


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Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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