TEHRAN, Dec. 5 (Xinhua) -- Iranian Foreign Minister Ali-Akbar Salehi said his country will take legal action against the United States at international courts over its "drone incursion" into the Islamic republic's airspace in the Persian Gulf, Press TV reported Wednesday.
On Tuesday, local reports said the naval force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) downed an U.S. drone over the Persian Gulf in Iran's waters. Iran's state TV also released a footage of the captured drone.
"The U.S. drone, which in the past days flew over the general ( international) zone of Persian Gulf gathering intelligence, was trapped in the air defense and controlling systems of IRGC and was captured as soon as it entered Iran's airspace," said the SepahNews affiliated to IRGC.
Salehi said the violation of Iran's airspace by the U.S. ScanEagle drone would be used as an evidence against Washington at international courts, according to Press TV.
The outlets by Iranian media on Tuesday were followed by Western reports which quoted a spokesman for the United States Navy in Bahrain as denying the Iranian claims.
No American drone of ScanEagle type was missing in the Persian Gulf, the spokesman said, adding that the operations of U.S. drones are confined to international waters.
Besides, White House spokesman Jay Carney said there is no evidence that the Iranian claims could be "true."
Disregard of the U.S. officials' denial, the Iranian foreign minister said that "we formally protested such actions by the United States and announced that we would defend our borders by any means possible," according to Press TV.
Salehi's remarks were alluding to an earlier instance when another U.S. drone was downed by the Islamic republic. In December 2011, Iranian media reported that the Iranian military downed the U.S. RQ-170 stealth aircraft in the eastern part of Iran after finding it transgressing the eastern border.
U.S. officials later denied that the drone was brought down by Iran, insisting that its fall was due to mechanical problems.
On Nov. 9, Tehran said a fighter jet of the Islamic republic had confronted an U.S. drone in the Persian Gulf.
In a statement issued here by Iranian lawmakers on Wednesday, they praised what they called "Iranian military and naval forces for their vigilance, competence and authority" in capturing the U. S. drone, according to Press TV.
The Iranian lawmakers said capturing aggressor drones belonging to arrogant powers is but a small example of the capabilities of Iranian military forces, according to the report.
Also, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast told semi-official Fars news agency Wednesday that "the powerful controlling of the U.S. drone is one of the signs of Iran's progress in protecting its airspace."
Also on Wednesday, IRGC said it has fully extracted the data on the U.S. "spy drone" it captured over the Persian Gulf on Tuesday, according to Press TV.
"The drone, in addition to gathering military data, was used to pursue collecting data in the field of energy, especially the transfer of oil from Iran's oil terminals," the IRGC Public Relations Department was quoted as saying by Press TV.
It said the capture of the aircraft helps discovery of "what kind of data they (the Americans) are after."
TEHRAN, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- The naval force of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) downed an U. S. drone over the Persian Gulf in Iran's waters, the SepahNews affiliated to IRGC reported on Tuesday.
"The U.S. drone, which in the past days flied over the general (international) zone of Persian Gulf gathering intelligence, was trapped in the air defense and controlling systems of IRGC and was captured as soon as it entered Iran's airspace," SepahNews said. Full story