25-05-2020 08:24 AM Jerusalem Timing

RQ170 Provokes Transcontinental Exchange of Statements

RQ170 Provokes Transcontinental Exchange of Statements

Following days of silence on the American spy drone captured by Iranian armed forces, US President Barack Obama says Washington has asked Tehran to return the US reconnaissance drone.

Following days of silence on the American spy drone captured by Iranian armed forces, US President Barack Obama says Washington has asked Tehran to return the US reconnaissance drone.

Obama said in a news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday “We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond.”

The plea comes as the US and CIA refused to adopt an official position after Iran aired footage of the captured unmanned aerial vehicle on December 8.

Meanwhile, former US Vice President Dick Cheney has criticized the US President Barack Obama for failing to destroy the spy drone recently downed in Iran.

Cheney said in an interview with CNN on Monday that Obama should have ordered an airstrike to quickly destroy the downed high-tech unmanned aerial aircraft to prevent the Islamic Republic from subjecting it to examination.

He also said Obama was presented with three options for recovering or destroying the UAV, but he rejected all of them.

Cheney said "The right response to that would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it," adding, "You can do that from the air. You can do that with a quick air strike.”

In the same context, secretary of Iran's supreme national security council Saeed Jalili flied to Moscow on Monday to discuss with Russian officials the recent violation of Iranian airspace, as well as Tehran's nuclear program.

The US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was brought down with minimal damage by the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit on Sunday, December 4, 2011, when flying over the northeastern Iran city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers away from the Afghan border.

Tehran says that the US spy mission was a “hostile act,” adding that it would lodge a complaint with the United Nations over the violation of its air sovereignty by the intelligence-gathering aircraft.

On December 6, two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed to CNN that the drone was part of a CIA reconnaissance mission, involving the US intelligence community stationed in Afghanistan.

They claimed the reconnaissance capability of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone enabled it to gather information from inside Iran by flying along Afghanistan's border with the Islamic Republic.

Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the aircraft, which is similar in design to a US Air Force B2 stealth bomber.