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Jan 2nd, 2011

Iran claims it shot down two spy planes in the Persian Gulf

The veracity of the following report from the semi-official Iranian news agency Fars cannot be independently confirmed.

Iran Shoots Down Several Foreign Spy Planes

Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh

Fars News Agency
January 2, 2011


TEHRAN — Iranian military forces have shot down several spy planes of foreign forces, a senior commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Sunday, adding that two of these planes have been shot down over the Persian Gulf.

Commander of the IRGC Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told “Payam Engelab” (Message of the Revolution), an internal publication of the IRGC, that western forces in the region have made limited aggressions against Iran, and “we have, thus far, shot down a large number of their highly advanced spy planes.”

“Two of these planes have been shot down in the Persian Gulf,” Gen. Hajizadeh continued.

The commander said that Iran has shot down many foreign planes, but did not reveal it to the media, “and this is the first time that we reveal this news.”

He declined to mention the exact date and location of the development.

After shooting down these planes the IRGC aerospace unit has copied and produced them in large numbers through reverse engineering, the commander added.

He declined to mention the exact date and location of the development.

After shooting down these planes the IRGC aerospace unit has copied and produced them in large numbers through reverse engineering, the commander added. …


Topical reports on this site

Iran Unveils New Missile System (Nov. 18, 2010)

An Iranian flag flutters at an undisclosed location in Iran next to a surface-to-surface Qiam-1 (Rising) missile, Aug. 20, 2010. (Photo: AFP / Getty Images)
An Iranian flag flutters at an undisclosed location in Iran next to a new liquid fuel surface-to-surface Qiam-1 missile with advanced guidance systems, test-fired on Friday, Aug. 20, 2010. (Photo credit: AFP / Getty Images)

Iran Unveils ‘Ambassador of Death’ Bomber (Oct. 25, 2010)

Image: Iranian Karrar drone aircraft
This photo released by the Iranian Defense Ministry reportedly shows a launch of the Karrar drone aircraft, which Iran says is the country’s first domestically-built, long-range, unmanned bomber aircraft. (Photo credit: Vahid Reza Alaei / AP)


1/4/2011 Update

U.S. Doubts Iran Claims It Shot Down Drone

By Phil Stewart

January 3, 2011

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has found no evidence to back Iran’s claims it shot down drone surveillance aircraft in the Gulf, officials said on Monday, acknowledging some of the spy planes had crashed due to mechanical failure.

Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards commander on Sunday as saying Iran had shot down two unmanned Western reconnaissance drone aircraft in the Gulf. …

Pentagon spokesman Colonel Dave Lapan said there were “no recent reports that would corroborate what the Revolutionary Guard said about unmanned aerial vehicles.”

Another U.S. military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that the last incident he was aware of involved a drone aircraft crashing in the Gulf in early 2009. Like others before it, the crash was due to mechanical failure and the aircraft landed in international waters, the official said.

“We have had cases in which UAVs have gone down in the Gulf … but I don’t have any indication (of a case) where a UAV has been taken down by hostile fire in the Gulf,” the official said.

“We’re still researching whether there has ever been a case,” the official said, adding that such an event could not yet be definitively ruled out. …


7/20/2011 Update

U.S. drone reportedly shot down over Iran nuke site (AP, July 20, 2011) — A U.S. drone has been shot down by Revolutionary Guard soldiers while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to reports in the Iranian media. Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari, a member of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Iran’s Fars news agency that the drone was trying to gather information about the Fordo nuclear enrichment facility for the CIA. … Full story


12/6/2011 Update

Drone That Crashed in Iran Risks Secret U.S. Technology


Drone crash (NBC Nightly News, Dec. 5, 2011) — NBC’s Jim Miklaszewski reports on the American stealth drone that crashed in Iran and whether it provides Iranians access to sensitive U.S. technology. (01:51)

By Jim Miklaszewski
NBC News chief Pentagon correspondent

December 5, 2011

An American drone that crashed in Iran last Thursday was on a mission for the CIA, and is now in the hands of Iran’s military, NBC News has learned.

U.S. officials tell NBC that CIA operators were flying the unmanned drone when it veered out of control and headed deep into Iran. The drone eventually ran out of fuel and crashed in Iran’s remote mountains.

The nature of the drone’s mission was secret and sources say it’s still not clear whether the drone was operating in Iran or Afghanistan.

Officials here confirm that the vehicle was a highly secret stealth drone called an RQ-170, which looks more like a flying wing than an airplane — the same kind of drone that circled over Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan as Navy Seals targeted the fugitive al-Qaida leader.

One major concern is that the Iranians could salvage highly sensitive technology used in the drone for cameras or sensors or even the stealth technology, and try to develop it for themselves.

Iranian media reported on Sunday that their country’s military had shot down a U.S. reconnaissance drone in eastern Iran, but a U.S. official said there was no indication the aircraft had been shot down.

Iran has announced several times in the past that it shot down U.S., Israeli or British drones, in incidents that did not provoke high-profile responses.

“Iran’s military has downed an intruding RQ-170 American drone in eastern Iran,” Iran’s Arabic-language Al Alam state television network on Sunday quoted a military source as saying. …

Full story


4/24/2012 Update

Iran Says It is Building a Copy of Downed U.S. Spy Drone

Iranians gather around a replica of an American spy drone on display next to Azadi (Freedom) square during a ceremony marking the 33rd anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Tehran on Feb. 11, 2012. (Photo credit: Abedin Taherkenareh / EPA)

The Associated Press and Reuters via
April 22, 2012

A top Iranian official claimed on Sunday that his government was copying the top-secret American spy drone captured by Iran’s armed forced last year.

Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who is chief of the aerospace division of the powerful Revolutionary Guards, was quoted by a semi-official news agency as saying that Iranian experts are recovering information from the RQ-170 Sentinel captured in December in eastern Iran, al Arabiya News reported. …

Experts extracted data showing that the aircraft had spied on the compound where Osama bin Laden lived and was eventually killed, Hajizadeh reportedly said.

“In October 2010, the aircraft was sent to California for some technicalissues, where it was repaired and after flight tests, it was taken to Kandahar (in Afghanistan) in November 2010, when a series of technical problems still prevailed,” he said, according to al Arabiya. …

Iran flaunted the capture of the Sentinel, a surveillance drone with stealth technology, as a victory for Iran and a defeat for the United States in a complicated intelligence and technological battle.

While American officials acknowledged Iran’s capture of the drone, they have said that Tehran would find it hard to exploit data and technology aboard.

Iran said the unmanned aircraft was shot down, but Washington disputes that and says the security systems mean Iran is unlikely to get valuable information from the Lockheed Martin Corp. drone.

Full story


FROM THE ARCHIVES: One Year Ago — January 2, 2010

Battle Lines Are Drawn in Yemen


New front in terror fight (NBC Nightly News, Jan. 3, 2010) — Yemen is turning into a base for international terrorist operations. NBC’s Mike Viquiera reports. (02:42)

One year ago today, I reported that Yemen — the country where failed Christmas Day underwear bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab allegedly received terrorist training — was becoming a focus for both the West and Islamic extremists.


FROM THE ARCHIVES: Two Years Ago — January 2, 2009

Farewell Helen, You Were My Hero

Image: Helen Suzman and Nelson Mandela
Helen Suzman with Nelson Mandela in February 1990
(Photo credit: John Parkin / AP file)

Two years ago today, on Jan. 2, 2009 I reported that South African anti-apartheid icon Helen Suzman, one of the first white lawmakers to fight against the injustices of whites-only rule in that country, had died at the age of 91.

One Response to “Iran Drone Shootdown Claim”
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