Islamic Iran takes drone case to world bodies

Ali Akbar Salehi told reporters after a cabinet meeting in Tehran on Sunday that Iran had sent notices to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), the United Nations and its Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon over the issue.

He added that the captured US drone would remain in the country’s possession as part of its assets.

Salehi highlighted that the decision about the American aircraft rests with Iran’s Supreme National Security Council.

On December 4, Iran downed with minimum damage the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft which was flying over the eastern city of Kashmar, some 225km (140 miles) from the Afghan border.

The capture of the RQ-170 stealth drone by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit occurred as the advanced US-built reconnaissance was on its very first mission over Iran. Its seizure at the moment means that Iranians were alerted in advance about the precise moment of its secret arrival.

Iran has announced it would carry out reverse engineering on the captured RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft, which is also known as the Beast of Kandahar, and is similar in design to a US Air Force B-2 stealth bomber.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced on December 12 that Washington has submitted a formal request to Tehran to ask for the return of the captured drone.

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