A US drone forced down by the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Iranian government has demanded an apology from the Obama administration for violating its airspace., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Top secret U.S. drone downed in Iran
By Gene Clancy
Published Dec 18, 2011 9:41 AM
U.S. imperialism has been dealt a serious blow by the downing of a supersecret spy drone in Iran.
The Iranians brought down the drone 140 miles inside their territory from the Afghan border. Iran’s government announced on Dec. 11 that its defense forces had downed the aircraft through a sophisticated cyberattack.
Captured U.S. drone on display in Iran.
This is the first time the Pentagon has lost a drone this way.
Initially, officials in Washington denied that Iran had detected and downed the drone, but they later admitted that they had lost it. White House officials first claimed that the drone was nothing special and belonged to the NATO-led “International Security Assistance Force” in Afghanistan. Later, they admitted that the pilotless surveillance plane was a stealth aircraft that the CIA was using for top-secret missions.
The U.S. officials first tried to convince the world that it was no special problem that the aircraft and its systems were exposed to Iran. Later, they admitted that the aircraft is so important for the U.S. that they had worked out scenarios for three possible operations to retrieve or destroy it. Ultimately, a U.S. official said they concluded that such a secret operation wasn’t worth the risk of provoking a more explosive clash with Tehran. (Wall Street Journal, Dec. 8)
Recently, the U.S. and/or Israel have conducted a number of attacks against Iran. These include the assassination of four nuclear scientists, the issuance of a phony report by the International Atomic Energy Agency by a director friendly to the U.S., the filing of preposterous charges against Iran of a bizarre and amateurish plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to the U.S., and the imposition of trade sanctions.
Iran’s leaders point to the drone as further evidence of hostile U.S. intentions and have lodged a formal diplomatic protest over the violation of Iranian airspace.
Pentagon officials have identified the missing drone as an RQ-170 Sentinel, an unarmed, bat-winged aircraft used by the CIA. This drone, equipped with cameras and other sensor equipment to monitor activity on the ground, can linger undetected for hours at 50,000 feet, far higher than many aircraft. An RQ-170 was used to gather intelligence to prepare the raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May, a raid that violated Pakistan’s sovereignty.
The drone’s downing not only exposes U.S. aggression but also demonstrates that the Western powers and Israel no longer have a monopoly on advanced cyber technology. Iranian leaders say that both China’s and Russia’s governments have asked to see the captured drone.
It is important for progressive people everywhere to expose and resist all imperialist plans to launch a war against Iran.
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