March 14th, 2013
01:32 PM ET

FIRST ON CNN: Iran confronts U.S. drone over Persian Gulf

By Barbara Starr

An Iranian fighter jet targeted an unarmed U.S. Predator drone over the Persian Gulf this week, the Pentagon says.

It was the latest Iranian move aimed at thwarting American military airborne intelligence efforts in the region.

Defense Department spokesman George Little said on Thursday the unmanned MQ-1 drone was conducting routine classified surveillance over international waters on Tuesday when approached by an Iranian F-4.

The two aircraft came within 16 miles of each other.

The American drone was escorted by two U.S. military aircraft, which remained over international waters, Little said, adding that the Iranian jet departed after a verbal warning.

No shots were fired. However, Obama administration officials told CNN that the United States is concerned with Iranian intentions in incidents like this and whether such episodes could unintentionally trigger hostilities.

In December 2011, a highly sensitive U.S. Sentinel drone gathering intelligence on Iran's nuclear program for the CIA was captured by Iran after it crashed. In November, an Iranian warplane fired on a Predator over the Gulf.

After the November incident, the United States told Tehran that it would continue surveillance flights over international waters "consistent with longstanding practice," Little said.

"We also communicated that we reserve the right to protect our military assets as well as our forces and will continue to do so going forward," he said.

The use of U.S. drones so close to Iran remains a highly sensitive issue for American military intelligence.

The aircraft are capable of using sensors to gather information about Iranian military movements.

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  6. Sani Mohammed

    USA you are the problem of this world, that is how Almighty Allah will continue to expose your technology!

    March 29, 2013 at 3:23 pm | Reply
    • smokinjo6263

      Isn't it kind of difficult to weed out who's who? Every one in your whole crappy little country is named Mohamed. Every one of you.

      March 29, 2013 at 3:31 pm | Reply
    • smokinjo6263

      Whats your name? Mohamed,Mohamed Shiek Mohamed Al Mohamed, Mohamed. Bunch of child molesters just like the Profit Mohamed.

      March 29, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Reply
  7. Marita

    'Nuke' Iran, Pakistan + North Korea? Make them 'Glow in the Dark' ? Germany + Ireland are full of Nazi's? 'Been in your Bunker long?? – @Marita.

    March 18, 2013 at 5:28 am | Reply
  8. vahid sharifi

    our power is not bomb(nuclear bomb)/our power is god/no power is up god,s power(remember TABAS or 1979 in tehran(getting the biggest powerful country,s Nest Spy
    you will be Destroy soon pentagon by us
    vahid sharifi(islamic republic of IRANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN)

    March 18, 2013 at 1:32 am | Reply
  9. bluemont

    I wonder if it was intentional. Let them have one to recover their jamming and range data. it's too bad the SR-71 isn't around to do a high speed flyover. That might freak em out some. They still fly U2 overhead, so I just wonder how efficiant these drones are for intel gathering as opposed to being a hellfire platform

    March 17, 2013 at 10:40 pm | Reply
    • Tom Cruise

      Does it not defeat the very purpose of a spy drone to be to be escorted by two manned jets? My God military people are dumb!

      March 17, 2013 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  10. Stephen Lewis

    I'm so glad Mr. Brennan only violates international laws and human rights as a last resort. Our US leaders are creating an environment for war and citizens of this globe are paying the ultimate price while Americans are distracted by the high life. Wake up everybody, before N. Korea becomes the first Country to successfully unleash a nuclear bomb in the US. They are certainly mad enough to do it. It's not like we, in the US, are innocent bystanders.

    March 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm | Reply
  11. t

    we have no business there

    March 17, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Reply
    • smokinjo6263

      If they are gonna try and send a nuke our way we certainly do belong there. Are you retarded or something?

      March 29, 2013 at 3:42 pm | Reply
  12. LIBERTY

    Hey Yo Mama supporters got to love your President of Peace he just cannot wait to start WW3 morons. I bet all you Romney nut jobs love Obama now he is making enemies faster than we can kill so war forever! Yay o happy day to be an American surrounded by idiots.

    March 17, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Reply
  13. robinson1509

    I can not imagine why the sell distruct was not activated before the Iranians were able to capture the predator.

    March 17, 2013 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

      I can answer that. there isn't one. you've been watching to much star trek

      March 17, 2013 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • Richard

      True but consider the wonderful headlines in Iran and all over the world if that magical self-destruct function had delayed and killed some Iranian soldier or farmer. They want an open conflict with the U.S. because it suits their goals. The Obama Admin. is playing it close to the vest on this whole downed-drone issue and it has kinda just phased out of public spotlight.

      March 17, 2013 at 3:38 pm | Reply
      • mf3

        absolutely! Human life is not cheap.We have no right to endanger people.

        March 17, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
  14. mf3

    See? As the congress here is conducting"fillerbusters" about what drones can or cannot do, they become useless because Iranians find a counter strategy. I think everybody is a winner here.

    March 17, 2013 at 7:55 am | Reply
  15. mf3

    We were spying in them and they caught us, what do you think their intentions were? they wanted to take "R2D2" to their base and make it spit out all the info it had in it's memory.May be this is the end of the era of Drones. Somebody has to come up with the counter strategy. There are too many innocent people being killed by the drones or because of their activities.

    March 17, 2013 at 7:53 am | Reply
  16. USA GAVE IRAQ TO IRAN ON A SILVER Platter...

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    March 16, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  17. moslem

    yes- drone bad for americans if they shoot they kill people but american blood is different from blood other people

    why your blood is different american white man or woman????
    your race is better than others you think?
    maybe you are more beautiful- yes i agree that but let us live you white man....
    darker people ar enot bad- they are kind if you listen them what say

    March 16, 2013 at 11:23 pm | Reply
    • not moslem

      @moslem American is not a race and we are by far all white. It has to do with who is really controlling the trigger - global corporations.

      March 17, 2013 at 1:33 am | Reply
      • thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

        by far all white? I think you need to look at the demograpics again this isn't the 50's anymore.

        March 17, 2013 at 10:43 am |
  18. thetruthandnothingbutthetruth

    With obama using drones to kill citizens in other countries and violating their sovereignty and killing US citizens without due process, i would think Iran has the right to be worried and to confront obama illegal killing machines.

    March 16, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Reply
  19. pooya bigiran

    BigJoe shut up .

    March 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm | Reply
  20. Joe M

    I believe Iran has all the rigth to create a nuclear weapons. After all the Unite Statas of America has millions of it. And no one on the world says anything about it. Even Israel has nuclear weapons themself.

    March 16, 2013 at 3:45 pm | Reply
    • A Sneaky Drone

      You do a horrible job of pretending to be a westerner

      March 16, 2013 at 3:56 pm | Reply
    • Mr vic

      You're forgetting that the West never threatens to use them on anybody nor uses threatening inflammatory rhetoric against its neighbors. No one would be against a civilized and peaceful Iran having nuclear weapons. In reality the world is slowly working towards a nuclear free world and arming countries with them would defeat the purpose.

      March 16, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Reply
    • ricky

      Are you f*c*i*g crazy. If iran gets ahold of a nuclear weapon wat do you think they are gonna use it for. You must have never been to the middle east and seen how crazy those dot heads are. I been on two tours of millitary duty and if people like that get the hands on a nuke then we are all f****d.

      March 17, 2013 at 10:06 am | Reply
      • southernsocialist

        You must never have been to the middle east either, had you, you'd realize "dot heads" refers to the hindi people of East India not the middle east. But then what do you expect from bigoted morons, nothing resembling anything sensible.

        March 17, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • smokinjo6263

      your retarded

      March 17, 2013 at 1:14 pm | Reply
  21. vahid sharifi

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    what do you think about iran?
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    March 16, 2013 at 1:42 pm | Reply
    • BigJoe

      oh shut up, no one cares what you think....

      March 16, 2013 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • A Sneaky Drone

      Greetings from America. We do not fear you nor is there going to be any Islamic overthrow of the world. We defeated your archnemisis in 21 days when it took eight years to end it with an armistice for you. We have more B-2 Stealth bombers than you have nuclear facilities, if you live near one, move. Iran's list of allies is shrinking and no country will fight on behalf of the Ayatollah. It's best you remember these thing before you preach domination

      March 16, 2013 at 3:55 pm | Reply
      • james

        Um excuse me Russia and china are behind Iran 100%. They said it will be world war 3 if the US even bombs Iran. This is because the last time the US said there was a threat,there wasn't and over a million people died and tens of millions of people are displace because of that criminal action. I think the world is done listening to the US. And can you blame them? People talk about a nuclear weapon for Iran and say the us doesn't threaten people with it.That is funny. No, they just go out and murder anyone opposed to them. They have more allies than you think. So I say to Iran, If you want to, just do it. The world is behind you. Do not ever let the US deprive you of anything that will help your nation. Even if it cost lives. This is what good stand for. Not the US. The US is a police state and involved in alot of the conflicts throughout its time in power. And it is time that the world stands up and says NO MORE! Because when it all goes down the world will have to rid the US just as Britain and Russia's allies did the NAZIS. Hell the US has killed more people than the Nazi did. GO IRAN!!!!!

        March 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm |
      • smokinjo6263

        James you sir are an Idiot of the largest magnitude. Russia does not back Iran China will not back Iran Nobody will back Iran. You say the world is behind you to create a nuclear bomb. Now I know your nuts. Nobody of this world wants a nuclear Iran. You must be talking about people on YOUR world. You need to get out of your mothers basement and actually read some of these articles before you post. I'm just amazed at how little you REALLY know. Kinda funny actually!
        Master Sergeant Jo
        Special Forces
        Currently Deployed

        March 17, 2013 at 6:47 pm |
      • smokinjo6263

        It's good that your country Iran has you believing this crapola kinda funny it's like north Korea telling their people if they defect to the US that we will kill their children and rape their wives too too funny Nobody will come near to backing Iran and Nobody on this planet wants a Nuclear Iran you must be nuts!

        March 17, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
      • vahid sharifi

        our power is not bomb(nuclear bomb)/our power is god/no power is up god,s power(remember TABAS or 1979 in tehran(getting the biggest powerful country,s Nest Spy
        you will be Destroy soon pentagon

        March 18, 2013 at 1:21 am |
    • Mr vic

      I really feel sorry for you. You have no idea what it means to be a free. You will always have dictators murdering you're fellow citizens and you will be helpess to stop it. I wish for a day you could see what free country feels like, while not perfect, certainly centuries better than you're suppressive regime.

      March 16, 2013 at 8:04 pm | Reply
    • not moslem

      Yes, it's true that the innocent people often get mixed up when the corrupt governments fight each other.

      March 17, 2013 at 1:36 am | Reply
  22. Gregory Faith

    I would have thought their drone would confront our drone. But wait, they have not finished reverse engineering the one we allowed them to capture. Maybe next year. Stand by to stand by.

    March 16, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Reply
  23. bobber

    I had a doctor who told me he was from Iran, he looked Caucasian. As for Iran trying to shoot at American unmanned drones it does not seem to peaceful. My brother tells me that their were never nuclear weapons near the Middle East. What happens if the unmanned drone needs service?

    March 16, 2013 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • john smith

      America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
      In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
      During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
      In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
      Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

      March 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • not moslem

        @john smith Not sure what you mean about the USA being the only country to shoot down a civilian airliner, but this happened involving the USSR:

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_Air_Lines_Flight_007

        March 17, 2013 at 1:39 am |
  24. opinion8it

    Escorting a drone with two manned jets kind of defeats the purpose doesn't?

    March 16, 2013 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • Mr. T

      Just a verbal warning – "Shoo. Get back over there." And it worked. The brave elite Iranian guard complied.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:28 am | Reply
  25. b

    Silly Iranians...why won't they just let us spy on them......we would let them do the same to us, right?.... the US government is an enigma....

    March 16, 2013 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • mdbill

      Agree. If there were Iranian drones that close to the US they would be shot down, international waters or not.

      March 16, 2013 at 10:53 am | Reply
    • john smith

      America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty countries since world war 2.
      In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government Mohammad Mosaddegh and installed a brutal dictator Shah. America helped Shah of Iran to establish secret police and killed thousands of Iranian people.
      During Iran-Iraq war evil America supported Suddam Hossain and killed millions of Iranian people. In 1989, America, is the only country ever, shot down Iran's civilian air plane, killing 290 people.
      In 2003,America invaded Iraq and killed 1,000,000+ innocent Iraqi people and 4,000,000+ Iraqi people were displaced.
      Now America is a failed state with huge debt. Its debt will be 22 trillion by 2015.

      March 16, 2013 at 12:18 pm | Reply
      • aseekeroftruth

        John Smith:
        goatsbydegh – sheep by night

        March 17, 2013 at 10:10 pm |
    • smokinjo6263

      Some Iranians paddled a canoe across the bay to an island off their coast the island of Trid. The Iranians wanted the Trids to give up their Nuclear Technology. The trids said no! so one by one they lined them up on a cliff and kicked them off. Then they came to Kim Jung Un and they didn't kick him off. Kim said why didn't you kick me off I have been in bed with the Trids on Nuclear Technology for years? They looked at him and said Silly UN,, Kicks are for Trids.

      March 29, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Reply
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