Iran: Downed US drone 'Iran's property'

Updated: 2011-12-13 20:15


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TEHRAN - Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast on Tuesday refuted US President Barack Obama' s request to the return of a reconnaissance drone, as the Islamic republic considers the downed drone as "Iran's property".

Mehmanparast's remarks was in response to Obama's demand on Monday of the return of the drone which, according to Iranian media, was shot down by the Islamic republic' s military in eastern Iran over a week ago after it had transgressed Iranian borders.

"Some media reports say that Mr. Obama has requested for the return of the spy drone. It seems that he has forgotten that Iran' s airspace was violated, spying operations were carried out (and) international laws were violated," Mehmanparast said in his weekly press briefing.

Also on Tuesday, Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi was quoted by local Fars news agency as saying that " the (downed) US spy drone is the property of the Islamic Republic and our country decides what to do in this regards."

Mehmanparast criticized the United States of still making such a request, "instead of an official apology and admitting their crime."

The US deed regarding violation of Iran's airspace can put international peace and security in danger, Mehmanparast said, adding that the United States should face the consequences of their measure and they must be held accountable for the issue.

US officials denied the drone was brought down by Iran, insisting the RQ-170 drone, an unmanned aircraft used for reconnaissance and surveillance by the United States in Afghanistan, crashed due to mechanical problems.

"As has already been indicated, we have asked for it back," said Obama on Monday, who acknowledged for the first time that the drone is in Iran's control.

"We'll see how the Iranians respond," he said at a joint press conference with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after bilateral talks.

Iran's state TV last week has showed the footage of the stealth drone.