BEIRUT

Middle East

Iranians ‘showed Russia downed U.S. drones’

TEHRAN: Iran has shown Russia U.S. drones it shot down over the Gulf, Revolutionary Guards aerospace commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hadjizadeh was quoted as saying Tuesday.

“Russian experts requested to see these drones and they looked at both the downed drones and the models made by the Guards through reverse engineering,” the official IRNA news agency quoted Hadjizadeh as saying.

Hajizadeh did not elaborate on the number or type of unmanned U.S. aircraft it had shot down, or when or where it had done so.

Iran announced on Jan. 2 that its forces had downed two U.S. drones after they “violated” Iranian-controlled territory.

“The planes that were shot down are among the most modern U.S. Navy drones and have a long-range capability,” the Fars news agency quoted the commander of the Guards’ naval forces, Ali Fadavi, as saying at the time.

The U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is based in Bahrain, just across the Gulf from Iran. Washington never confirmed Tehran had shot down any of its drones.

The U.S. military and Central Intelligence Agency routinely use drones to monitor military activity in the region. Washington has expressed concern about Tehran’s possession of drones of its own. 

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on June 29, 2011, on page 9.

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