Fars News Agency

One By Land If None By Sea?

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9yJywNdJXq0[/youtube]

Iran is claiming once again to have captured a US drone. The YouTube above consists of a boring eleven minutes broadcast by PressTV of Iranian military types doing a poor impression of Vanna White running their hands over what is claimed to be a US ScanEagle drone. If true, this would be the second drone captured by Iran in just over a year. Early last December, Iran first claimed to have shot down and then changed their wording to claiming to have “brought” down a much larger RQ-170 Sentinel drone, prompting the question of whether Iran managed to hack the drone.

There has been considerable additional drone action of late regarding Iran, with Iran firing on a Predator drone in November over the Gulf (perhaps in Iranian airspace, perhaps not). Iran then said later in November that they were reporting the US to the UN for violating Iranian airspace at least 8 times during October, presumably with drones.

Interestingly, it appears that Iran is claiming once again to have hacked this drone. From Fars News Agency:

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) Navy Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced that his forces hunted a US Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) over the Persian Gulf after the drone violated the country’s airspace.

The UAV which had conducted several reconnaissance flights over the Persian Gulf general zone in the past few days was caught and brought under control by air defense units and control systems of the IRGC Navy.

We are now in the denial phase of the US response to this incident. The next bit in the Fars News article sets it up:

The IRGC navy commander announced that the haunted [sic] UAV was a ScanEagle drone, adding that “such drones are usually launched from large warships.”

Seizing on this bit, the US has quickly trotted out a US Navy spokesman to say that all ScanEagles are accounted for and none are missing. This same article also suggests that other countries in the region have ScanEagles and posits that Iran may have salvaged a ScanEagle that went down in the Gulf long ago.

[Heh. I missed the Fars typo saying the drone was “haunted” instead of “hunted” on my first several readings. That puts an entirely different spin on the situation…]

Interstingly, at the end,  the AP article does get around to pointing out that the US eventually changed its story on the RQ-170 [and see the update below the fold]: Continue reading

Emptywheel Twitterverse
bmaz @AaronWorthing @KidsandFire @adamsteinbaugh @joshgerstein Hmm, thanks. Figured it was either him or one of his followers.
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emptywheel @JuddLegum To be fair, the Republican party is institutionally protecting torturers w/torture report. So that was a given.
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emptywheel TOLD you to be skeptical about claims of Chinese spying. They've all been going bust. https://t.co/Nx2WqhEdxu
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bmaz @maryjpitzl He really made that argument? As in "no constitutional authority??
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bmaz "Prosecutorial discretion" https://t.co/fEUzbPvIPJ
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bmaz Peggy Noonan drunk and delusional as always https://t.co/s1FF7DON4H
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bmaz @jaketapper @VP Kinnear and Kerry Washington were both absolutely superb.
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JimWhiteGNV RT @jb8sy: So happy to have my Dr. Robert Cade painting in The @cademuseum in Gainesville. Hate to say… https://t.co/n5t6HRJd3c
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emptywheel RT @anamariecox: In 4 years people will say this is when Ryan clinched the nomination.
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emptywheel RT @BaFana3: #Yemen : US Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt arrived post-dawn, lurking in Gulf of Aden/Bab AL Mandab. 2 more US plane…
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bmaz @mtracey @7im ..along with a LOT of others in community and the local bar demanded the misdemeanor charges be declined as well. So they were
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