Iran Captures US Drone: Claim
The U.S. Navy denied Tuesday Iranian claims that its Revolutionary Guard Corps have captured an unarmed American drone as it violated its airspace over the Persian Gulf.
Iran state media showed pictures and video of the plane, which they claimed is a Boeing ScanEagle. The vehicle can be launched and operated from ships and is intended for intelligence gathering, according to the Boeing website.
The Iranian display of the drone was done under a large banner that read, “We will trample the U.S. under our feet” in Persian.
A U.S. Navy spokesperson told Reuters that no drones have gone missing and all are accounted for.
If the Iranian claims turn out to be true, this will mark the second American drone they have captured. A U.S. RQ-170 reconnaissance drone was caught in eastern Iran after it had gone missing over neighboring Afghanistan exactly one year to the day.
It also continues heightening tensions between the U.S. and Iran in the Gulf.
Last month, Iranian warplanes shot down an unmanned U.S. as it flew in international airspace. This led to Iran bringing the issue of American drones up at the United Nations days later. Iran’s ambassador to the U.N., Mohammad Khazaee, claimed several drones entered his country’s airspace around Bushehr, where Iran’s only nuclear reactor is located, at least eight times.
Iran also claimed it shot down to spy planes back in January 2011, then made “numerous” copies of the vehicles through reverse engineering.
Iran has threatened to shut down the Gulf, a waterway responsible for transporting about 30-percent of the world’s oil supply, if attacked by America. The U.S. has vowed that would not happen.