November 9th, 2012
05:50 AM ET

Tehran responds to Pentagon claim Iran warplanes opened fire on U.S. drone

Update:  An Iranian military official described the encounter as "decisive" action by Iran:  "Iran will use all its capabilities, including the relevant international agencies, to follow up on this case," Maj. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi said Friday, according to Iran's semi-official news agency ISNA.

Original story:  Iran said Friday it would confront any effort to transgress its airspace, responding for the first time to accusations that two of its warplanes opened fire on a U.S. Air Force drone over international waters,

“The Iranian armed forces will respond decisively to any act of transgression,” Major General Seyed Masoud Jazaeri said Friday, in response to the CNN report that two Iranian jets fired on an unmanned American drone over the Persian Gulf. "If any foreign planes try to enter our country's space, our armed forces will confront it," he was quoted as saying, according to Fars News.

The statement, which neither confirms or denies the encounter, comes a day after Security Clearance first reported the incident - later publicly confirmed by the Pentagon. The incident triggered a formal warning by the United States to Iran through diplomatic channels amidst concerns it will further heightens tensions between the two countries over Tehran's nuclear program.

Also: Iran's nuclear ambitions to challenge Obama in second term

The warning came after the disclosure that two Iranian Su-25 fighter jets fired on an unarmed Predator drone conducting routine surveillance in international airspace east of Kuwait, 16 miles off the coast of Iran, Pentagon Press Secretary George Little told reporters Thursday the drone was not in Iran's territory.

"Our aircraft was never in Iranian airspace. It was always flying in international air space. The recognized limit is 12 nautical miles off the coast and we never entered the 12 nautical mile limit," Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said in responding to questions from reporters after CNN reported the incident.

The Predator drone was not hit in the November 1 incident, and it returned under its own power to its base, he said.

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Filed under: drones • Iran • Pentagon
soundoff (75 Responses)
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  6. bribarian

    Iran isnt putting up with any more zi0nist nonsense.

    November 26, 2012 at 11:26 pm | Reply
  7. kamyar

    Educate me. International water's borders as far as I know are not even close to persian gulf.
    Why CNN should BS like this. I thought it is FOXNEWS Job to do so.

    November 12, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Reply
  8. haman1

    we have broken our agreement with Iran, the Bilateral Agreement

    The January 19, 1981, the United States government and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran concluded the Algiers Accords. (Although the Accords was re-classified by George W. Bush, a review of it is accessible at Columbia Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 4 (May, 1981), pp. 822-90). Article 1 of the agreement is as follows:

    "I: Nonintervention In Iranian Affairs 1. The United States pledges that it is and from now on will be the policy of the United States not to intervene, directly or indirectly, politically or militarily, in Iran's internal affairs."

    This real.

    November 10, 2012 at 4:12 pm | Reply
  9. haman1

    Was our drone just happened to be there for no good reason?? NO, we make an aggressive move to see how fast the Iranians will respond. Now we are going to modify our next action and will try something else, until we are ready to go to a complete war. Should Iranians just sit around, do nothing and just surrender to us? We have threatened the Iranians during the last 30 years with bombing, invasion and forcing their government to collapse. Now, in our desperation to appease the Zionists we have tried to put economical sanction on them. We are still trying to force Iran to act as our stooge!! Those days are over, face it.
    The short sighted, impatient American public is looking for more entertainment. To watch another war on TV every night as if it is an Xbox game or a movie made in Hollywood. Well, we have over 40,000 American maimed and dead from the other two wars that we have not finished, should we go for 100,000??!
    Are the Zionists who have tricked us into this mess will never admit or take responsibility for any of the miseries that our nation has gone through during the last 12 years?? Who are we kidding? We need to let them know that crying wolf needs to stop.

    Get real

    November 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Reply
  10. Bobby Beeman

    They did not just lob them out there, they were trying the US to see if they could get us to go to war with them and us be the blame. They know that their country would be better off with something to stimulate their economy. And show the world how evil we are. They are a blood loving country they kill anyone who is not Muslums every day. They kill their own wives so they might get new ones. Some even kill their own sons and daughters becuase they change their faith to Jesus instead of Mohammed.

    November 9, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Reply
  11. OBUMER

    since Obama is in power the united states is going to get eaten alive! the US will get harassed regularly because we have a weak leadership in the united states. sometimes you need a strong leader to put Iran, Syria, & Hizballah is place.. why were the iranians happy obama got re elected??? because iranians know hes weak and could take advantage of him. what has Obama done since 2008??? nothing!

    November 9, 2012 at 3:32 pm | Reply
    • TamaraJu

      why dont everyone shut up? like any one of you can do better than barak. like congress and the rest of the pastey faces who really controll this "rich" white mans land is gonna let anyone do what they truly wants stop it. where was all these stand up citizens when bush got his punk a s s in office again for the cheated'th time? give me a break

      November 9, 2012 at 3:43 pm | Reply
      • Bobby Beeman

        I have news for ya TamaraJu the USof A is not a white mans land it belongs to all who live here and the minority is white. Brown skin is the majority. And yes the majority rules that is why Obama is the leader.

        November 9, 2012 at 8:10 pm |
      • jo

        Wall Street rules America and not the brown/black majority. Obama executes Wall Street agenda.

        December 17, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
  12. Jannani

    America is the root of all terror. America has invaded sixty country since world war 2.
    In 1953 America overthrow Iran's democratic government 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 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.

    November 9, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Reply
    • mike

      go to hell you islamic devil. you and your religion is the root of all terror and many of us hope that the day will come soon when the world will clean itself of islam and eliminate if forever.

      November 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Reply
    • soulcatcher

      1953, Iran, by Democratic government, you mean the Shah and the non-functioning parliament? Really? Don't you think it's time Iran takes responsibility for its own problems? Next world War don't support the Nazis.

      Mike, fear is the root of terrorism.

      Undiscovered Country.

      November 9, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Reply
  13. Portland tony

    Let’s face it, the Iranians are a little nervous about any unidentified aircraft that approaches its airspace. In a normal confrontation, the Iranian air defense would scramble its fighters to investigate what type of aircraft was nearing its airspace, monitor it, possibly communicate with its pilot and just make sure that it was on an observation mission and not a threat. The US would do the same. But an UAV with a “pilot” somewhere in Nevada it would be impossible to determine its weaponry and talking to the pilot would be out of the question! Jesus, with the Israelis threatening to bomb its nuclear sites, who knows what the Iranians are thinking. And quite possibly the Iranians could have splashed the drone in a heartbeat if they chose!

    November 9, 2012 at 1:07 pm | Reply
  14. OffTheWorldPolitics

    With all this rhetoric and hostility there is little doubt about Iran's intentions. They want middle eastern hegemony back my nuclear weapons.

    November 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
  15. Lincoln

    And we worried about these guys. They cannot even take out and unmanned, unarmed drone.

    November 9, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
  16. grooby nooby

    how would america like it if iran flew a drone 16 miles into its coast?

    November 9, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
    • Biden_sux

      ............. we wouldn't miss.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:20 am | Reply
    • 4WheelDrifter

      Id certainly like Iran to try. And the US position is that the Drone never penetrated the internationally accepted 12-mile limit.

      November 9, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
      • lulz

        well the US says alot of thing dont it?

        November 10, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • Portland tony

      Missiles and bombs do not know of this 12 mile limit.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:43 pm | Reply
  17. TargetZero

    We need to be focused on the real terrorists, Israel!

    November 9, 2012 at 10:41 am | Reply
    • SayanIndia

      @TargetZero, Adjust your sight/scope towards the east, a “frenemy” failed State (albeit a “major non-NATO ally”) is not far off.


      November 9, 2012 at 11:28 am | Reply
      • BhangeeBasher

        I agree with you. USA should focus on the terrorist state of India which is leading country of state sponsored terrorism in the world. Indian hindus have killed millions of Kashmiris, Sikhs, Christians, Dalits. USA should look more, as you said, to the east.

        November 9, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
  18. Charles H Kuhl

    This is not an isolated incident. I have been on board a US Aircraft carrier while Iran fired a missile at our former position in another borderline act of aggression. Volatile actions from an unstable country.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:34 am | Reply
  19. bear0402

    Iran couldn't shoot down a drone? Yup, definitely a threat that should be taken seriously.

    November 9, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
  20. Saxbussa

    Another attempt to start another losing war with the Muslims that this country so afraid of

    November 9, 2012 at 10:04 am | Reply
    • ebizmedia

      Really? What makes you think this country is afraid of anyone? Oh, I forgot, you don't know anything about the power of the US Military.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  21. SayanIndia

    Well! Well! These Su-25s are confisticated ex-Iraqi Air Force jets operated by Iranian Revolutionary Guard and not by Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force. So who was in charge?


    November 9, 2012 at 9:58 am | Reply
  22. Hahahahahahhahhahah

    Why shoot at the drone? Doesn't Iran have the ability to "hack" it like they say they do with the last drone that went down (on it's own)? Bwahahahhahahahahhaha

    November 9, 2012 at 9:45 am | Reply
    • Damian in Chicago

      because it was a spy drone that cruised right to their air space border, so they chased it away... happens every day.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:45 am | Reply
      • Bush Family Are Nazi's

        Yeah right!

        November 9, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  23. jiffyjihad

    Who knew the Iranians were so worried about there sovereign country? Obviously they don't want to be part of the new and awesome New World Order!?!

    November 9, 2012 at 8:28 am | Reply
    • Biden_sux

      Yup, sticks and stones, literally. Been that way for a few thousand years and a few thousand more to come.

      November 9, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
  24. George Patton

    How would some of you feel if the Russians started sending their drones over here to spy on us? Quite angry, I suppose. Yet some of you Tea Partying morons think it's quite alright for us to send our drones over to spy on the Iranians. I don't!!!

    November 9, 2012 at 7:56 am | Reply
    • jiffyjihad

      Funny, the Chinese know exactly what were up to through cyber space but the russians would have to fly over just like we have to fly over Iran. and we invented the internet!!!

      November 9, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
      • Charles H Kuhl

        No no, Russian made SU-25's flown by Iranians.

        November 9, 2012 at 10:30 am |
    • Charles H Kuhl

      The russians DO send their submarines off of our coast.

      But in case you didn't realize most of the petroleum that the world consumes passes through the Persian Gulf and the Straights of Hormuz. The US will always act to defend our interests in that region because our economy requires it. Even former President Clinton took military action in the region multiple times to defend Kuwaiti oil. Please do note that we have never profited a cent off of Iraqi oil. Or didn't you know this?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
      • FutureSEAL

        Saddam offered us ten dollars a barrel to not act so your point is invalid

        November 9, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Frogler

      The Russians frequently fly over the arctic and Canadian airspace. They recently were discovered to have brought a sub into the Gulf of Mexico. We never shoot at them.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • Thedjc

      When did Obama join the Tea Party?

      November 9, 2012 at 10:29 am | Reply
    • 4WheelDrifter

      I think you chose the wrong screen name. Benedict Arnold would have been a better choice...

      November 9, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Reply
    • walkingwindows

      Yup. Now they are bringing some of those surplus drones to Seattle to keep US in line.

      November 9, 2012 at 6:45 pm | Reply
  25. jiffyjihad

    Really? 12 miles? Do you think Hostile forces could get within twelve miles of our border without repercussions?
    Yeah, Yeah, I know, it was a harmless little bitty unmanned drone just cruisin' a few thousand miles from home...

    November 9, 2012 at 7:47 am | Reply
    • Frogler

      Your comparison to America is moot. America has a 200 mile border into the ocean with no proximity to other countries. The Persian Gulf is only 40 miles wide in places so each country has only 12 miles leaving a slim margin for international shipping.

      November 9, 2012 at 10:33 am | Reply
      • Paul

        Actually 12 miles is an international limit that applies to us in the US as well. Iran, Russia or China are welcome to do reconaissance flights 12 miles off our coast at any time they wish to though I think satellite surveillance may be more practical considering the size of our coast and the distances from where they currently operate. I'm kind of surprized we don't have a satellite in geosynchronous orbit over the Gulf of Hormuz or even over central Iran though. Probably Drone reconnaissance is more a political thing than a necesity, we want them to know we are watching. We probably do have the satellites there and they don't need to respect borders at all.

        November 9, 2012 at 11:27 am |
      • Portland tony

        Missiles do not observe 12 or 200 mile coastal limits!

        November 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  26. SayanIndia

    Missed a “slow” moving drone; definitely lack of adequate training and combat experience :).


    November 9, 2012 at 6:08 am | Reply
    • jiffyjihad

      Have you ever heard of the phrase " Lob one across the bow"? So nieve.

      November 9, 2012 at 7:50 am | Reply
      • SayanIndia

        @jiffyjihad, Yes I have. However dispatching fighters without onboard radar (Su-25 in this case) for aerial interception does not inspire much confidence.


        November 9, 2012 at 8:06 am |
      • Biden_sux

        Lob one across the bow of an UAV......... why, to scare it?

        November 9, 2012 at 11:19 am |
      • 4WheelDrifter

        @jiffyjihad needs some remedial training, the word is spelled "naive".

        November 9, 2012 at 12:48 pm |

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