Iran files a complaint after showing video of alleged U.S. drone

Iran files a complaint after showing video of alleged U.S. drone Iran’s state TV broadcasted video of a RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft that Iranian officials claim is a U.S. drone lost by controllers last week. The Iranian media displayed the plane on a stage emblazoned with propaganda, covered with banners saying: “We’ll trample America underfoot” ...

546178_111209_1353628382.jpg
546178_111209_1353628382.jpg

Iran files a complaint after showing video of alleged U.S. drone

Iran's state TV broadcasted video of a RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft that Iranian officials claim is a U.S. drone lost by controllers last week. The Iranian media displayed the plane on a stage emblazoned with propaganda, covered with banners saying: "We'll trample America underfoot" and "The U.S. cannot do a damn thing." The Iranian military's "electronic warfare unit" reportedly maneuvered the plane to the ground 140 miles from the border with Afghanistan. U.S. officials have expressed concerns over the information and technology the Iranians would be able to access if this is, in fact, the U.S. drone. Head of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' aerospace unit, Brig. General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, stated Iran "was well aware of what priceless technological information" it could acquire. While U.S. officials admit Iran's possession of a CIA aircraft, some U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical that the video was of the actual downed drone and that Iran was capable of bringing it down electronically. In response to the purported act, Iran placed a formal complaint with the United Nations claiming that the United States is increasing "provocative and covert actions" against the country and that the violation of its airspace by the U.S. drone was "tantamount to an act of hostility."

Headlines  

Iran files a complaint after showing video of alleged U.S. drone

Iran’s state TV broadcasted video of a RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft that Iranian officials claim is a U.S. drone lost by controllers last week. The Iranian media displayed the plane on a stage emblazoned with propaganda, covered with banners saying: “We’ll trample America underfoot” and “The U.S. cannot do a damn thing.” The Iranian military’s “electronic warfare unit” reportedly maneuvered the plane to the ground 140 miles from the border with Afghanistan. U.S. officials have expressed concerns over the information and technology the Iranians would be able to access if this is, in fact, the U.S. drone. Head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace unit, Brig. General Amir-Ali Hajizadeh, stated Iran “was well aware of what priceless technological information” it could acquire. While U.S. officials admit Iran’s possession of a CIA aircraft, some U.S. intelligence officials are skeptical that the video was of the actual downed drone and that Iran was capable of bringing it down electronically. In response to the purported act, Iran placed a formal complaint with the United Nations claiming that the United States is increasing “provocative and covert actions” against the country and that the violation of its airspace by the U.S. drone was “tantamount to an act of hostility.”

Headlines  

  • According to the Syrian National Council, regime forces have encircled Homs, a site of consistent uprisings, “to commit a massacre in order to extinguish the revolution.”
  • A roadside bomb in the southern Lebanese city of Tyre injured five French U.N. peacekeepers and one civilian in the third blast within the Israeli border region this year.
  • Clashing pro-Saleh and opposition forces are withdrawing from Yemen’s southern city of Taiz, where the United Nations has declared a humanitarian crisis.
  • The Muslim Brotherhood pulled out of a constitutional advisory council over the Egyptian military rulers’ intention to limit the elected Islamists’ power in parliament.
  • An Israeli airstrike killed one civilian and wounded 13 in Gaza in the third day of attacks by the IDF, which was followed by the firing of several rockets claimed by the armed wing of Fatah.

Daily Snapshot

Yemeni anti-government protester march in the streets of Sanaa after the Friday noon prayer on December 9, 2011 to demand that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh be put on trial over his regime’s bloody repression of the opposition movement (MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images). 

Arguments & Analysis

‘Hezbollah after Assad’ (Mona Yacoubian, Foreign Affairs)

“As momentous change rocks the Arab world, Hezbollah could be forced to reconcile its long-standing dedication to resistance with the new narratives being written on the streets of Tunis, Cairo, and Damascus. The collapse of the Assad regime — and with it, the entire regional order — would accelerate Hezbollah’s impending moment of truth. In a new Middle East, Hezbollah may well opt for a more political path, positioning itself as the champion of a once marginalized community rather than as the defender of repressive regimes.” 

‘Tunisia: Occupy bardo’ (Kacem Jlidi, Open Democracy)

“By November 30, what was perfectly evident on the Tunisian street was the emergence of a remarkable ideological split in ranks that had remained united throughout all the trauma of the overthrow of the Ben Ali regime. It started with a call for a general mobilization launched by the Doustourna network, a political organization led by Jawhar Ben Mbarek, a professor of constitutional law. The call, so far signed by twenty civil organizations, comes from many representatives of the unemployed in the mining regions of Tunisia (Gafsa and elsewhere); activists of the General Union of Tunisian Students (UGET); political parties and independent citizens.” 

‘Political Islam: everywhere on the rise’ (The Economist)

“Whatever the outcome, Egypt looks set to join a broader regional trend that has seen a more pragmatic, tolerant form of Islamism rise to dominate the political scene, by way of the ballot box rather than the gun barrel. As Islamist parties come to the fore, from Iraq to Morocco, it is worth bearing in mind the words of Safwat Abdel-Ghani, the leader of an Egyptian Salafist group that once preached terrorism in the name of jihad, on the death of Osama bin Laden: “Al-Qaeda has not been destroyed by the ‘war on terror’ but by popular revolutions that made it unnecessary.”

Latest from the Channel

‘Has Egypt’s Revolution left women behind?’ by Mara Revkin

‘The illusive rise of the Islamists’ by Khalil al-Anani

    <p>Mary Casey-Baker is the editor of Foreign Policy’s Middle East Daily Brief, as well as the assistant director of public affairs at the Project on Middle East Political Science and assistant editor of The Monkey Cage blog for the Washington Post. </p> Twitter: @casey_mary

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