Iran claims to capture second US drone in its airspace
By Sajad - Tue Dec 04 2012, 3:31 pm
The incident highlighted tensions in the Gulf as both the Islamic Republic and the United States seek to demonstrate their military capability over the waterway amid a standoff over Iran’s nuclear program.
It offered no details on the location or how it had been seized.
Ali Fadavi, the Revolutionary Guards’ naval commander, was quoted by state TV as saying the unmanned aircraft was now in Iran’s possession.
He said the drone “was conducting a reconnaissance flight and gathering data over the Persian Gulf” and “was captured by the Guard’s navy air defence unit as soon as it entered Iranian airspace”.
He said such drones are normally launched from large warships.
The claim was quickly denied by the United States. A spokesman for the United States Navy in Bahrain denied the Iranian claim, saying that no American drones were missing.
“The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operating in the Middle East region. Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized water and air space,” a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Central Command in Bahrain said, according to Reuters. “We have no record that we have lost any ScanEagles recently.”