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US must pay Iran compensation: MP

A senior Iranian lawmaker says Washington will have to pay compensation to Tehran over the violation of Iran’s airspace with a reconnaissance drone.

“The US has endangered Iran’s security and will therefore have to pay compensation to the Iranian government,” Member of the Majlis (Parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Committee Mohammad-Karim Abedi said on Monday.

Abedi added that the unmanned US aerial vehicle flying over Iran was “proof of US being a terrorist and criminal state.”

“The UN Security Council and the Secretary General [Ban Ki-Moon] have no option but to condemn the US, because if a similar violation had been committed by Iran, the UN would have severely condemned Tehran,” Abedi added.

The US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft was brought down with minimal damage by the Iranian Army’s electronic warfare unit on Sunday, December 4, 2011, when flying over the northeastern Iran city of Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) away from the Afghan border.

On December 6, two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed that the drone had been part of a CIA reconnaissance mission, involving the United State intelligence community stationed in Afghanistan.

They claimed the reconnaissance capability of the RQ-170 Sentinel drone enabled it to gather information from inside Iran by flying along Afghanistan’s border with the Islamic Republic.

Iran has announced that it intends to carry out reverse engineering on the aircraft, which is similar in design to a US Air Force B2 stealth bomber.

The RQ-170 is an unmanned stealth aircraft designed and developed by the Lockheed Martin Company.

Tehran has said that the US drone spy mission was a “hostile act,” adding that it will lodge a complaint with the United Nations over the violation of its air sovereignty by the intelligence gathering aircraft.

Iranian Ambassador to the United Nations Mohammad Khazaei on December 8 called on the world body to condemn US aggressive moves against the Islamic Republic with respect to the reconnaissance drone that violated the Iranian airspace.

He made the plea in a letter sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, General Assembly President Nassir Abdulaziz a-Nasser, and Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s UN ambassador who holds the rotating Security Council presidency for December.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Foreign Ministry has summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents US interests in the country, and the Afghan ambassador to condemn the US violation of Iranian airspace.

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