An American RQ-170 Sentinel
unmanned reconnaissance aircraft (file photo)
A senior Iranian military official says Iran's Army has shot down a
remote-controlled reconnaissance drone operated by the US military in the
eastern part of the country.
The informed source said on Sunday that Iran Army's electronic warfare unit
successfully targeted the American-built RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft after
it crossed into Iranian airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan.
He added that the US reconnaissance drone has been seized with minimum damage.
The RQ-170 is a stealth unmanned aircraft designed and developed by Lockheed
The US military and the CIA use the drone to launch missile strikes in
Afghanistan and in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region.
The unnamed Iranian military official further added that “due to the clear
border violation, the operational and electronic measures taken by the Islamic
Republic of Iran's Armed Forces against invading aircraft will not remain
limited to the Iran's borders.
The report comes as the United States has beefed up its military presence in and
around the Persian Gulf region in recent months in the wake of popular uprising
The US Department of Defense says Washington is closely monitoring the
developments in Bahrain, which is the headquarters of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet
and holds some 4,200 US service members.
Iran's military said on Sunday it had shot down a U.S. reconnaissance drone
aircraft in eastern Iran, a military source told state television.
"Iran's military has downed an intruding RQ-170 American drone in eastern
Iran," Iran's Arabic-language Al Alam state television network quoted the
unnamed source as saying.
"The spy drone, which has been downed with little damage, was seized by the
Iranian armed forces."
Iran shot down the drone at a time when it is trying to contain foreign
reaction to the storming of the British embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, shortly
after London announced that it would impose sanctions on Iran's central bank
in connection with Iran's controversial nuclear enrichment programme.
Britain evacuated its diplomatic staff from Iran and expelled Iranian
diplomats in London in retaliation, and several other EU members recalled
their ambassadors from Tehran.
The attack dragged Iran's relations with Europe to a long-time low.
Washington and EU countries have been discussing measures to restrict Iran's
oil exports since the United Nations nuclear watchdog issued a report in
November with what it said was evidence that Tehran had worked on designing an
And from AP:
Iran's semiofficial Fars news agency says the country's armed forces have
shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along its
The report says the plane was an RQ170 type drone and is now in the possession
of Iran's armed forces. The Fars news agency is close to the powerful
Iran is locked in a dispute with the U.S. and its allies over Tehran's
disputed nuclear program, which the West believes is aimed at the development
of nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusations, saying its nuclear program is
It appears Iran plans to retaliate:
Iran's response to the downed U.S. drone's violation of its airspace will not
be limited to the country's borders, a military source told state television.
"The Iranian military's response to the American spy drone's violation of
our airspace will not be limited to Iran's borders any more," Iran's Arabic
language Al Alam television quoted the military source as saying, without
Iran said in July it had shot down an unmanned U.S. spy plane over the holy
city of Qom, near its Fordu nuclear site.
As a reminder from Stratfor, here is how the US navy was deployed most
recently as of Wednesday. Looks like life for the Stennis boys is about to get