Iranian state television has announced Tuesday that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Navy captured a U.S. drone that entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.
Media in Tehran said that the captured drone is a ScanEagle aircraft, built by Boeing, which can be launched and controlled by U.S. naval ships in the Persian Gulf. Moreover, Iranian television showed images of what it claims to be captured unmanned aircraft, inspected by the commander of the Navy Forces of Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Ali Fadavi.
Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said that the action for to capture drone aircraft was necessary to demonstrate to the international community how understand U.S. to respect international law.
Tehran announcement was later denied by U.S. Navy forces and the Presidential Administration of the White House. According The New York Times, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Forces Command in Bahrain denied that they lost a plane, noting that the U.S. Navy presence in the region is in compliance with international law, and therefore in compliance with the rules into marine waters or airspace of another State. In turn, Obama administration spokesman Jay Carney said the U.S. does not have specific information that such an incident has occurred.
Recall that on 8 November 2012, the Pentagon recognaized that an Iranian military aviation aircraft opened fire against an aircraft type Predator drone over the Persian Gulf. The incident, reported first by CNN, raised fresh concerns within the Obama administration about Iranian military aggression in crucial Gulf oil shipping lanes. The drone was on routine maritime surveillance in international airspace east of Kuwait, 16 miles off the coast of Iran, U.S. officials said. The Predator was not hit.