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MOSCOW, November 9 (RIA Novosti) - Iran has repelled an unidentified aircraft violating the country’s airspace, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said on Friday, implicitly confirming a US claim that Iranian forces had fired on a US drone recently.
Tehran is currently investigating the incident, he was quoted by Press TV as saying.
A top military commander said earlier on Friday Iran will stop any attempts to violate its airspace.
“If any foreign aircraft seeks to enter our country’s airspace, our Armed Forces will confront it,” Deputy Chairman of Iranian Armed Forces' Chiefs of Staff Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.
The Iranian Armed Forces will “firmly” respond to any ground, sea or air aggression, he added.
Jazayeri's remarks come a day after the US Defense Department claimed that Iran recently shot at an unmanned US drone flying over the Gulf.
“On November 1, at approximately 4:50 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, an unarmed, unmanned MQ-1 US military aircraft conducting routine surveillance over the Arabian Gulf, was intercepted by an Iranian Su-25 Frogfoot aircraft and was fired upon with guns,” Pentagon spokesman George Little was quoted as saying in the statement.
He said the incident occurred in international waters about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast. The US drone was not damaged and later returned to its base. He said it was the first time a drone flying over the Persian Gulf had come under fire.
The incident came a year after a US drone went down after crossing into Iran's airspace from neighboring Afghanistan. Tehran said the aircraft was shot down, but Washington said it malfunctioned and crashed.
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- moistSo this poor...17:10, 09/11/2012...little western drone where just minding it´s own peaceful business until the evil moooooslems shot at it? Sure, "just routine mission" move along, nothing to see here. What are the fascist forces doing down there again?
- jg(no title)19:33, 09/11/2012The US drone was flying in international airspace and never crossed the Iranian border, which extends to 12 nautical miles from their coastline. This is part of the ongoing US surveillance to ensure that international shipping lanes in the Gulf stay open, despite Iran's repeated threats to close the Straits of Hormuz (something they have done before). Iran may not like such aircraft flying in international airspace near their border but it is not illegal. Russia routinely flies manned surveillance aircraft near and even over borders of NATO countries - do you think they should be shot at or simply escorted to international airspace?
About fascists -let's do a quick comparison:
Police beating up homosexuals:
Nazis - Yes
Russia - Yes
USA - No
Locking up members of opposition political parties:
Nazis - Yes
Russia - Yes
USA - No
People claiming asylum in your country or from it:
USA - In
Nazis - From
Russia - From
Earlier this month, Russia hosted the Fourth International Meeting of the Arctic Council at Naryan-Mar, a seaport in the Barents Sea, to discuss issues relating to the infrastructure and safety of ships passing through the Northern Sea Route (NSR).