MSNBC & Fars News Agency & Hamsayeh Net & Wired – 2011-07-23 00:03:35
US Drone Shot Down over Iran Nuke Site
TEHERAN (July 20, 2011) — A US drone was shot down while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to reports in the Iranian media. Iran’s Fars news agency reported that lawmaker Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, had confirmed the unmanned spy plane was flying near the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province when it was brought down by Revolutionary Guard soldiers. It did not say when the alleged incident happened.
Dafsari told Fars that the drone was trying to gather information about the nuclear facility for the CIA. Fars also said Iranian military officials had claimed to have shot down “several enemy drones” in January.
“We have experienced similar incidents many times in the past and there have even been drones belonging to the occupying Zionist regime (Israel), the United States and Britain which have been shot down in the Persian Gulf during the past 7 years,” Fars quoted a senior military official as saying at the time.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press
US Spy Drone Shot Down by Iran
Fars News Agency
TEHRAN (July 19, 2011) — A senior Iranian legislator confirmed earlier reports saying that a US drone has been shot down by Iran over Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in the Central Qom province.
Member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari said on Tuesday that the unmanned spy plane was flying near the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province when the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Air Defense units brought it down. â€¨â€¨
The official stated that the US drone was on a mission to identify the location of the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant and gather information about the nuclear facility for the CIA, Dafsari stated. â€¨â€¨
Earlier this year, a senior Iranian military official had confirmed reports on the shooting down of several enemy drones over the Persian Gulf, and said Iran has targeted a large number of these pilotless planes during the last 7 years. â€¨â€¨
“We have experienced similar incidents many times in the past and there have even been drones belonging to the occupying Zionist regime (Israel), the United States and Britain which have been shot down in the Persian Gulf during the past 7 years,” the senior military official told FNA in January. â€¨â€¨
Also in January 2007, the Iranian military troops shot down a spy plane of the US army when trying to cross Iran-Iraq borders in the Southwestern city of Dasht-e-Azadegan, Khuzestan province. â€¨â€¨
(c) 2006 Fars News Agency. All Rights Reserved
Iran Shot Down a US Spy Plane in Central Parts of the Country
(July 21, 2011) — Iranian air-defense units today brought down a highly sophisticated US spy drone in central parts near one of Iran’s newly constructed nuclear enrichment plants.
Iranian website Javanonline.ir quoted MP Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari as saying the country’s defense units shot down a US spy plane flying over Qom Province in central Iran.
“An unmanned US spy plane that was flying over the province of Qom, near the Fordo nuclear facility, was brought down by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps’ air defense units.” Dafsari told reporters.
The Iranian MP added that CIA spy plane was on a mission to gather information on Fardo nuclear complex near the holy city of Qom when it was brought down.
Last year Iran announced construction of several nuclear enrichment plants as part of its growing nuclear industry. Fardo enrichment plant has recently been completed and Tehran plans installing some of the newer models of centrifuge machines at this particular plant.
The oil-rich nation is currently undergoing expansion of its peaceful nuclear program within the NPT regulations by constructing several more enrichment plants throughout the country.
Did Iran Just Shoot Down a US Stealth Drone?
David Axe / Danger Room: Wired Magazine
(July 20, 2011) — For the third time this year, Iran is claiming it shot down an American robot warplane trying to snoop on TehranÂ’s nuclear facilities. Â“An unmanned US spy plane flying over the holy city of Qom near the uranium enrichment Fordu site was shot down by the Revolutionary GuardsÂ’ air-defense units,Â” lawmaker Ali Aghazadeh Dafsari told Iranian state television.
As with all Â“newsÂ” reports coming from TehranÂ’s official media apparatus, itÂ’s wise to take DafsariÂ’s claim with a grain of salt. Notably, no one is showing off any fresh wreckage of an American robot Â— a popular pastime in other countries where drones have gone down.
That said, thereÂ’s reason to believe Dafsari Â— and reason to believe the drone in question is one of a small fleet of radar-evading Â‘bots the Pentagon saves for the most important, and difficult, missions. That would make the latest US drone casualty the first stealth robot to be shot down, that we know of.
ThatÂ’s a lot of Â“ifs,Â” to be sure. But in the world of secret aircraft, a little conjecture is sometimes all youÂ’ve got.
Again if true, DafsariÂ’s tale of a downed US drone is further evidence of AmericaÂ’s escalating global drone campaign. While lethal strikes by US Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Afghanistan and Pakistan grab the most headlines, American drones are also busy tracking Somali insurgents and pirates, Yemeni terrorists, Latin American drug runners and the forces of Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi, among others, in addition to allegedly spying on Iran.
The Pentagon has been planning for years to eventually replace many, if not most, of its human-piloted planes with flying robots. But the mounting evidence of worldwide US drone operations means our unmanned future is here, today.
Iran claims its nuke program is strictly for peaceful purposes. Most foreign observers believe itÂ’s aimed at producing nuclear weapons. While the Pentagon readies special nuke-busting weapons, satellites and human spies are surely hard at work gathering data on Iranian enrichment sites and other nuke facilities. ThereÂ’s little reason to doubt US Â— and possibly Israeli Â— UAVs are on the job, too.
Indeed, thatÂ’s one possible role for the US Air ForceÂ’s secretive RQ-170 (pictured), a stealthy, flying-wing UAV first spotted in Kandahar, Afghanistan in 2007. The Air Force copped to the RQ-170Â’s existence in 2009, making it the first acknowledged, operational stealth drone.
The Â“Beast of Kandahar,Â” as Bill Sweetman dubbed it, reportedly helped guide US Special Forces towards Osama Bin LadenÂ’s Pakistan compound back in May. The radar-evading Â‘bot has also been sighted in South Korea, from where it possibly spied on North KoreaÂ’s nukes. Phil Finnegan, a UAV analyst at the Teal Group, told Air Force Times the RQ-170 could be doing the same thing over Iran, too.
So if it was a stealthy Beast that Iran shot down, why hasnÂ’t Tehran proudly showed off photos of the smoldering wreckage? ItÂ’s possible that the RQ-170 comes equipped with a self-destruct mechanism specifically intended to prevent just such a propaganda coup. We know some drones have these kill-switches, because occasionally robot operators accidentally flip them.
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