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 May 27, 2015

News: U.S. Air Force certifies SpaceX for military launches - SpaceX has been certified for military space launch, the U.S. Air Force announced May 26. The long-awaited announcement is a game changer, with SpaceX becoming only the second provider cleared by the service to launch national security payloads into orbit.   Business: Northrop Grumman CEO issues...
 
 

New’s Briefs May 27, 2015

U.S. military begins search flights for stranded Rohingya The United States has begun military surveillance flights to help locate stranded Rohingya and Bangladeshi boat people in Southeast Asian seas. State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said May 26 that U.S. Navy P8 aircraft flew over the weekend with Malaysian support. Rathke said the U.S. has offered...
 
 
nasa-commercial-crew

Commercial Crew milestones met; partners on track for 2017 missions

NASA has taken another step toward returning America’s ability to launch crew missions to the International Space Station from the United States in 2017. The Commercial Crew Program ordered its first crew rotation mission fro...
 

 
af-spacex

Air Force certifies SpaceX for national security space missions

Lt. Gen. Samuel Greaves, commander of the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center and Air Force program executive officer for space, has announced the certification of Space Exploration Technologies Corporation’s Falco...
 
 

Northrop Grumman passes key design review for B-2 weapons management upgrade

Northrop Grumman has successfully demonstrated to the U.S. Air Force that its plans to upgrade key weapons management software for the B-2 stealth bomber are on track and ready to proceed to the next level of development. The company successfully completed the critical design review of the service’s Flexible Strike Phase 1 program on Feb...
 
 
boeing-space

Boeing awarded first-ever commercial human spaceflight mission

NASA issued a task order as part of Boeing’s $4.2 billion Commercial Crew Transportation Capability contract recently to include the company’s first-ever service flight to the International Space Station. The award ...
 




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>