Iran has made a claim that it had captured a US drone which had entered its air space – but, the US Navy has made a categorical statement that all the drones in the Middle East are accounted for and not a single one is missing.
The claim had been made through the Fars news agency – it seems the unmanned ScanEagle aircraft had taken off from a US carrier in the Gulf and it is now in the custody of Iran.
This information has apparently been given by Iran’s chief of Navy General Ali Fadavi.
As per the General, the US drone was on a reconnaissance flight gathering data over the Persian Gulf – in his opinion, such drones usually takeoff from large warships.
This drone had, reportedly, been engaged in such activities for the past few days and was captured by the Revolutionary Guard's navy air defense unit immediately it entered the airspace of Iran.
It may be recalled that last month also Iran had claimed that a US drone had violated its airspace and the Pentagon had clarified that the unmanned aircraft was targeted at least twice but was not hit.
Moreover, the Predator drone was over international waters.
Incidentally, in 2011, Iran claimed to have brought down a RQ-170 Sentinel CIA top-secret spy drone which is fitted with stealth technology and Tehran had said that the captured drone was intact and its secrets had been noted by the experts of Iran.
Iran had said that it had been able to recover useful data from the RQ-170 Sentinel and, in order to prove their statement, the Iranian military quoted the flight log of the drone.
It had been flying over the hideout of Osama bin Laden's Pakistani hideout two weeks before he was killed by US Special Forces.
US finally admitted to the loss but insisted that the software installed in the drone was encrypted and would be of little use to others.
Of course, the loss was blamed to be due to technical reasons but Iran maintained that they had brought it down electronically by disrupting its GPS system.
The ScanEagle drone which is at the center of the latest drone affair is a product of Boeing – it is four feet in length and has a wingspan of 10-feet.
In November Mohammad Khazaee, Iran's ambassador to the United Nations, had complained of repeated violations of Iranian airspace by the US near the Bushehr power station.
He had written to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and described these violations as not only illegal but provocative acts as well.
The state TV of Iran has shown images of a ScanEagle, an unmanned US drone which it says it has captured in its airspace – this version of drones is a smaller, less sophisticated one which the Americans are known to employ.
Sources linked to in report.
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