- Shahrokh Zamani and Khaled Hardani are on hunger strike
- Another civilian is sentenced to death in Khomeini Shahr
- Five Years of Imprisonment for Baha'i Leaders
- Kurdish Death Row Prisoner Transferred, His Lawyer Arrested
- Two Prisoners Executed For Espionage in Tehran
- Imprisoned Dervish Transferred to Hospital after Heart Attack
- Iran pushes ahead with new nuclear plant that worries West
- Iran acts to expand sensitive nuclear capacity: diplomats
- CIA head visits Israel to discuss Syria, Iran's nuclear program
- US targets Iran rial, gold imports in sanctions pressure
- Israel air strike on Syria 'is a message to Iran and the US'
- Israel Will Strike Iran 's Subterranean Nuclear Sites
- Religious leaders ban 30 women from running for Iran's presidency
- Iranian cleric: Women can't be president in Iran
- Iranians marrying foreigners without state consent face prosecution
- More women smuggling drugs out of Iran
- Canada’s High Court could try Iran for Zahra Kazemi murder
- "Hole"/ Saba Vasefi
- Bahrain claims Iranian drone found
- UK: Iran, Hezbollah increasing support for Assad
- When it comes to Syria and Hezbollah, Israel is walking a tightrope
- IRGC: World now eying Iranian regime's resistance
- Two Iranians in Kenya found guilty of bomb plots
- Iran develops rocket-launcher submarine, smart ships
Wednesday 11 April 2012
TEHRAN (AFP)— A top Iranian military commander on Tuesday denied a US news report that the CIA has been successfully sending spy drones over Iran over the past three years.
"No unmanned or manned (surveillance) aircraft have entered Iran's air space" apart from one US stealth drone that was captured last December, Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili of the Revolutionary Guards' air defence command told the official IRNA news agency.
He was reacting to a story in The Washington Post newspaper last weekend that said the Central Intelligence Agency sent its first surveillance drone over Iran three years ago with "never even a ripple" detected in Iran's air defences.
The report said CIA drones subsequently scoured dozens of sites in Iran, making hundreds of passes over suspicious facilities before the stealth drone -- an RQ-170 model -- crashed inside Iran's borders in December.
The expanded intelligence collection reinforced the view within the White House that it will have early warning of any move by Iran to assemble a nuclear bomb within its disputed nuclear activities, the report said.
But Esmaili was quoted as saying: "No surveillance unmanned aircraft has passed over Iran, and published photos were been (taken) by satellite systems."
He said "you witnessed what happened" when the captured RQ-170 tried to make its flight in December.
But while the Iranian commander insisted that US drones had been unable to fly over Iran, he asserted that "drones operated by the Guards and the (Iranian) military have flown over American ships (in the Gulf) and have taken photos of them."