Iran Attacks U.S. Drone over Persian Gulf

by Patrick Brennan

Yesterday, the Pentagon claimed that Iranian jets fired upon an unarmed U.S. drone that was in international airspace over the Persian Gulf. The incident involved two Iranian Su-25s (which incidentally bear one of my favorite NATO names, “Frogfoot”) and occurred on November 1; the drone wasn’t damaged. Now, AFP reports that Iran has confirmed that the incident occurred:

Iran’s defense minister confirmed on Friday a Pentagon claim that two Iranian fighter jets fired on an unarmed U.S. Predator drone in the Gulf last week.

“Last week an anonymous plane entered the space over the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf area which, due to the timely, clever and decisive action of our armed forces, was forced to flee,” Ahmad Vahidi was quoted on ISNA [an Iranian news agency] as saying.

The Pentagon’s original statement maintained that the drone was “never in Iranian airspace” and was fired upon while over international waters. Iran captured a U.S. surveillance drone in their airspace in December 2011, an incident the U.S. attributed to a malfunction causing the drone to wander into Iran.

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