Iran will not Return Captured RQ 170 – Promises Bigger Response

A senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, General Hossein Salami, said on Sunday that Iran will not return a captured U.S. drone and promised a bigger response.  He did not elaborate on what this response might be.   The U.S. claims that the drone malfunctioned while being deployed along the Pakistan/Afghanistan border.  Iran said that it penetrated more than 150 miles into Iranian airspace.

 “No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country,” Salami said.

Iranian State Television broadcast a video on Thursday, which showed a drone, identified as the RQ 170 spy drone.  State media said that the drone was detected near the eastern town of Kashmar, about 150 miles inside Iranian territory. Salami described the capture of the drone  a victory and a defeat of the U.S. in a complicated intelligence and technological battle by Salami.

“Iran is among the few countries that possesses the most modern technology in the field of pilotless drones. The technology gap between Iran and the U.S. is not much,” he said.

When Iran initially reported on the downed drone they claimed that it had been shot down by its Revolutionary Guard.  U.S. Intelligence said that Iran neither shot down the drone nor did nor bring it down electronically with cyber technology.  The U.S. is sticking to its initial claim that the drone malfunctioned.

Drones have also become an issue with Pakistan.   After the killing of 24 of Pakistan’s soldiers, Pakistan announced yesterday that drones would no longer be permitted to fly in its airspace and would be shot down.


President Obama, during a press conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Malaki confirmed that the RQ 170 drone was in Iranian hands and that the United States had asked for its return.  This was the first official acknowledgment by the Administration that the drone was in Iranian hands.

“We’ve asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.   With respect to the drone inside of Iran, I’m not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified,” he said.


About the Author

Karl Gotthardt - Politisite Managing Editor Maj. Gotthardt is a Retired Military Officer with 35 years service in the Canadian Armed Forces. He spent most of his time in the Military in Infantry Battalions. Karl took part in training for Afghanistan as an Operator Analyst with the Canadian Maneouvre Training Centre. Karl is a qualified military parachutist and military free fall parachutist. He earned his U.S. Master Jump Wings in Fort Benning, Georgia. Karl enjoys working with horses for the last 24 year. He owns six. He has experience in breeding, training and of course riding.Karl was born in Germany and is fluent in both English and German and he speaks enough French to "get in trouble". Karl has written or writes at NowPublic, All Voices, Tek Journalism and many others.

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