Iran says Obama should apologize for downed drone

TEHRAN Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:53am EST

EDITORS' NOTE:   Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on   leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. An undated picture received December 8, 2011 shows a member of Iran's revolutionary guard (R) pointing at the U.S. RQ-170 unmanned spy plane as he speaks with Amirali Hajizadeh, a revolutionary guard commander, at an unknown location in Iran. REUTERS/Sepah News.ir/Handout

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on leaving the office to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. An undated picture received December 8, 2011 shows a member of Iran's revolutionary guard (R) pointing at the U.S. RQ-170 unmanned spy plane as he speaks with Amirali Hajizadeh, a revolutionary guard commander, at an unknown location in Iran.

Credit: Reuters/Sepah News.ir/Handout

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TEHRAN (Reuters) - President Barack Obama should apologize for sending an unmanned spy plane into Iranian territory rather than asking for it back after it was seized, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Iran announced on December 4 it had downed the spy plane in the eastern part of the country, near Afghanistan. It has since shown the plane on television and said it is close to cracking its technological secrets.

On Monday, Obama told a news conference: "We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond." Iranian officials had already said they would not return the drone.

"It seems that (Obama) has forgotten that our air space was violated, a spying operation conducted and international law trampled," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told a news conference.

"Instead of an official apology for the offence they have committed, he is raising such a demand. America must know that the violation of Iran's air space can endanger world peace and security."

Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the official IRNA news agency: "The U.S. spy drone is the property of Islamic Republic of Iran. Tehran will decide what it wants to do in this regard."

AGGRESSOR AMERICA

Parliament issued a resolution calling the drone incursion "evidence of international terrorism and a blatant violation of international law by the aggressor America," and said Iran might seek reparations from Washington.

Iran has already complained to the U.N. Security Council about the incursion, calling for action to "put an end to these dangerous and unlawful acts.

NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan initially said the plane may have been an unarmed U.S. reconnaissance drone that went missing during a mission over western Afghanistan.

But a person familiar with the situation has since told Reuters in Washington that the drone was on a surveillance mission over Iran.

The drone affair is just the latest incident adding to tensions between Iran and the West which accuses the Islamic Republic of trying to develop nuclear weapons, a charge it denies.

Iran's judiciary announced on Tuesday it had issued indictments against 15 unidentified people held on suspicion of spying for the United States and Israel, the official IRNA news agency reported.

Iran said in May it had arrested 30 people it said were spying for the United States. Spying in Iran can be punishable by death.

In response to tightened economic sanctions against Iran, radical youths stormed the British embassy in Tehran on November 29, causing London to recall all its staff and close its mission.

Republican presidential candidates in the United States have upped rhetoric on a possible military strike against Iran, something Israel says it may carry out as a last resort to stop the Islamic Republic getting the bomb.

"It's better that they don't use phrases like 'all options are on the table'," Mehmanparast said, referring to the stock phrase used by Israeli and U.S. leaders about the military option.

"The phrase has been used so often it has become tiresome," he added.

(Additional reporting by Hossein Jaseb; Writing by Robin Pomeroy; Editing by Matthew Jones)

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Comments (11)
brian-decree wrote:
An apology?? From the US?? For violating a nations sovereignty and breaking international law???

HAHAHAHAHA!!!!

That IS the US!!

This is what they do!!!

They are so at ease with violating a nations airspace, risking a war and lying about the whole thing that they have the nerve to ask for their war machine back! Knowing there is no one that can stop them…

We are dealing with a global dictatorship people!!!
It’s that simple…
There is no truth, no freedom, no prosperity, no justice, no safety and no dignity under a global US dictatorship.

Get used to it!

Dec 13, 2011 7:51am EST  --  Report as abuse
minutemanII wrote:
So, what’s the beef? We’ve been spying on other countries for decades upon decades, and they’ve been spying on us. Agents and double-agents made their living by trading secets long before hi-tech capability of spying via overhead, unmanned drones. Chances are they already got the information from it, and will need someone to decipher it. We should just chalk it up to the high price of war, a fund which our government tends to perpetuate and prolong at the expense of the taxpayers. And maybe Iran can recycle the parts, once we “give it up.”

Dec 13, 2011 7:56am EST  --  Report as abuse
gany1 wrote:
Flying over another nation for spying is still as illegal as
it was when gary powers flew over and was shot down by the
USSR. We are now flying drones over our own as well.
We have lost our freedom and are now slaves to Banks, Corporoations and
our government.

Dec 13, 2011 8:13am EST  --  Report as abuse
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