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Saturday, November 10, 2012
Iran Confirms Engagement with US Drone

Iran Confirms Engagement with US Drone
News number: 9107118018 18:15 | 2012-11-09
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=9107118018

TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi on
Friday confirmed reports about Iran's confrontation with an enemy aircraft
in the airspace over the Persian Gulf, saying that the aircraft was shooed
away by Iranian fighter jets.

"Last week an unidentified aircraft entered the airspace over Iran's
territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, which was forced to flee due to the
prompt, smart and decisive action of the Islamic Republic of Iran's Armed
forces," Vahidi said in a statement released by the Iranian Defense Ministry
on Friday.

He stressed that the incident and similar events in the past all indicate
that "the Islamic Republic of Iran is vigilantly and precisely monitoring
all moves and provides decisive, necessary and prompt response with
efficient power" to any hostile move.

The Iranian defense minister further stated that Iran is pursuing the case
at relevant international bodies using all available capacities.

On Thursday the Pentagon reported that Iranian fighter jets had opened fire
on a US drone over the Persian Gulf on November 1, but did not hit the
aircraft.

According to the timeline provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian SU-25
"Frogfoot" aircraft intercepted the American drone at about 4:50 a.m. EST
(0850 GMT) as it conducted a classified mission over Persian Gulf waters
about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.

In response, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces for Cultural
Affairs and Defense Publicity Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri told FNA
that the Iranian Armed Forces repel any aggression against the country

"The defenders of the Islamic Republic of Iran give decisive response to any
aerial, ground or sea aggression," Jazayeri told FNA, responding to a
question about Pentagon's Thursday report.

"If any kind of alien flying object wants to enter our country's airspace,
our armed forces will confront it," Jazayeri added.

The Pentagon report was given a wide coverage in the US media and sent gold
prices high up in the world markets.

Pentagon spokesman George Little said the aircraft fired multiple rounds at
the Predator drone and followed it for at least several miles as it moved
farther away from Iranian airspace.

"We believe that they fired at least twice and made at least two passes," he
said.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta was quickly notified of the incident, as were
members of Congress and the White House, Little added.

Political analysts believe that the Iranian fighters intended to just shoo
away the American predator.

The United States also sent Iran a warning through diplomatic channels,
saying it would defend its military assets and would keep sending aircraft
on similar missions in the Persian Gulf.

"There is absolutely no precedence for this," Little said. "This is the
first time that a (drone) has been fired upon to our knowledge by Iranian
aircraft."

American officials said that the Iranian SU-25s were flown by the Islamic
Revolution Guards Corps as the IRGC is responsible for protecting security
over the Persian Gulf.

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