World

February 8, 2013

Iran airs images allegedly extracted from U.S. drone

Nasser Karimi
Associated Press

The Iranian FARS news agency released this photograph of what it claims is the production line of an Iranian copy of the U.S. ScanEagle drone.

Iran’s state TV has broadcast footage allegedly extracted from the advanced CIA spy drone captured in 2011, the latest in a flurry of moves from Iranian authorities meant to underline the nation’s purported military and technological advances.

Iran has long claimed it managed to reverse-engineer the RQ-170 Sentinel, seized in December 2011 after it entered Iranian airspace from the country’s eastern border with Afghanistan, and that it’s capable of launching its own production line for the unmanned aircraft.

After initially saying only that a drone had been lost near the Afghan-Iran border, American officials eventually confirmed the Sentinel had been monitoring Iran’s military and nuclear facilities. Washington asked for it back but Iran refused, and instead released photos of Iranian officials studying the aircraft.

The video aired late Feb. 6 on Iranian TV shows an aerial view of an airport and a city, said to be a U.S. drone base and Kandahar, Afghanistan. The TV also showed images purported to be the Sentinel landing at a base in eastern Iran but it was unclear if that footage meant to depict the moment of the drone’s seizure.

In addition, the TV also showed images of an Iranian helicopter transporting the drone, as well as its disassembled parts being carried on a trailer.
In another part of the video, the chief of the Revolutionary Guard’s airspace division, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, said that only after capturing the drone, Iran realized it “belongs to the CIA.’

ìWe were able to definitively access the data of the drone, once we brought it down,î said Hajizadeh.

He described the Sentinel’s capture as a huge scoop for Iran, saying that at the time, Tehran did not rule out a possible punitive U.S. airstrike over the drone.

Iranian officials have accused the U.S. of stepping up its espionage activities against Iran as part of intensified Western efforts to force Tehran to abandon its uranium enrichment program, a key aspect of its disputed nuclear program. The U.S. and its allies suspect Iran may be trying to develop atomic weapons, a charge Tehran denies.

In an attempt to embarrass Washington, Iran has claimed to have captured several American drones, most recently in December, when Tehran said it seized a Boeing-designed ScanEagle drone – a less sophisticated aircraft – after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.

U.S. officials said there was no evidence that the latest claims were true.

Also Feb. 7, the semi-official Fars news agency published photos reportedly depicting a domestic production line of ScanEagle drones. The photos show several drones in a workshop.

Iran has said before that it’s making ScanEagle copies and putting them into service, but has not offered proof for those claims.

Fars also quoted deputy defense minister, Mohammad Eslami, as saying that Iran has also established a ìproduction line for the drones in foreign countries.î He did not elaborate, and it was not clear if he was referring to Syria or Lebanon’s Hezbollah group, Iran’s top regional allies.

The latest Sentinel footage came as the U.S. tightened sanctions to pressure the Iranian government to limit its nuclear program and restrictions on institutions that Washington says are stifling political dissent and censoring speech.

Among the expanded measures announced Feb. 4 by the Treasury Department is a move to deny Iran access to revenue garnered from its oil exports. Under the latest sanctions, Iran would only be able to use revenue from its oil sales in a country that purchased its crude – now mostly big Asian economies such as China and India – which would significantly limit its access to the money.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines April 21, 2014

News: Former Ranger breaks silence on Pat Tillman death: I may have killed him - Almost 10 years after the friendly fire death of former NFL star turned Army Ranger Pat Tillman, a fellow ranger admits that he may have been the one who fired the fatal shot.   Business: Ship study should favor existing designs -...
 
 

News Briefs April 21, 2014

Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules The U.S. Navy has endorsed changes to submarine sailors’ schedules based on research into sleep patterns by a military laboratory in Connecticut. With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance...
 
 

NASA cargo launches to space station aboard SpaceX resupply mission

Nearly 2.5 tons of NASA science investigations and cargo are on the way to the International Space Station aboard SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft. The spacecraft launched atop a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:25 p.m., EDT, April 18. The mission is the company’s third...
 

 

Second series of CASIS-sponsored research payloads launch to ISS

The Center for the Advancement of Science in Space is proud to announce several sponsored research payloads have launched to the International Space Station onboard the Space Exploration Technology Corporation’s Dragon cargo capsule. This marks the second series of investigations headed to the station that are sponsored by CASIS, the nonprofit responsible for managing research...
 
 

Boeing to give California workers $47 million in back pay

PALMDALE, Calif. – Boeing will pay $47 million to hundreds of current and former Southern California employees who are owed back pay and benefits, a union announced April 18. An arbitrator ruled against the aerospace giant in January and laid down guidelines for the payments and interest, but it took months to cull through records...
 
 

NASA selects commercial crew program manager

NASA has selected Kathy Lueders as program manager for the agency’s Commercial Crew Program. Lueders, who has served as acting program manager since October 2013, will help keep the nation’s space program on course to launch astronauts from American soil by 2017 aboard spacecraft built by American companies. “This is a particularly critical time for...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>