Iran Says U.S. Spy Drone Violated Laws, Won’t Return Aircraft

The U.S. violated Iran’s airspace and must be held accountable for infringing on international laws, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said in Tehran today.

Mehmanparast spoke one day after President Barack Obama said the U.S. has asked Iran to return a drone aircraft that U.S. controllers lost contact with on Dec. 4.

Iran has said it shot down the U.S. reconnaissance aircraft in the country’s east and that it is close to accessing information stored in it. Iranian officials have identified the drone as the RQ-170 Sentinel and showed images of it on television last week.

The aircraft will remain in Iran’s possession as part of the country’s assets, Iran’s Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said today, according to the state-run Press TV news channel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at

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