Iran Claims Shot Down US Spy Drone; NATO Confirms UAV Missing

DoD photo by Tech. Sgt. Andy Dunaway, U.S. Air Force.

The Iranian military on Sunday claimed it shot down a United States stealth spy drone, according to Iran’s Press TV. The report, citing an unnamed informed senior military official, said the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was downed with “minimum damage” after it entered Iran from Afghanistan. The Iranians said they had captured the reconnaissance drone.

In a press statement received by The Mideast Update,
NATO did not confirm the report about the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), but acknowledged that a drone from the Afghanistan mission went missing. Said the statement from NATO’s International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), “The UAV to which the Iranians are referring may be a US unarmed reconnaissance aircraft that had been flying a mission over western Afghanistan late last week. The operators of the UAV lost control of the aircraft and had been working to determine its status.”  

Iran has in the past made claims regarding military activities that have proven to be exaggerated or even false, most famously doctoring a photo to cover up a failed missile test launch.

The Iranian official was quoted by Press TV as saying that “due to the clear border violation, the operational and electronic measures taken by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s Armed Forces against invading aircraft will not remain limited to Iran’s borders.”

Iran has made headlines repeatedly in recent weeks. The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) raised concerns about possible military dimensions to Iran’s nuclear program, which was followed by increases in sanctions on Iran from the US, Europe and elsewhere.

Last week, Iranian students stormed British Embassy compounds in Tehran in an escalation in the diplomatic conflict between Iran and the West. The UK accused the Iranian authorities of complicity in the attack and significantly downgraded relations with the Islamic Republic.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, December 4, 2011)