Iran has vowed to take legal action against the United States at international courts for violating the Islamic Republic’s airspace over the Persian Gulf.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said on Tuesday that the US ScanEagle drone, which had been captured by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) upon entering the country’s airspace over the Persian Gulf waters, would be used as evidence against the US at international courts, IRNA reported.
“We had formally protested such actions by the US and had announced that we would defend our borders by any means possible,” Salehi said.
“We had told the Americans that according to international conventions, we would not allow them to violate our borders, but unfortunately they did not comply.... Of course, we had objected to the Americans before, but they claimed they were not present in our territories. We will use this drone as evidence to file a legal case against the US invasion at relevant international bodies,” he added.
Earlier in the day, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi announced that the drone had been captured over the past few days.
Iran has released footage of the captured drone, which is a long-endurance aircraft manufactured by Insitu, a subsidiary of Boeing.
According to a report published by the Wall Street Journal
on Sunday, Washington “has significantly stepped up spying operations” on the Bushehr nuclear power plant in southern Iran “over the past two months.”
On November 9, Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said the Iranian military repelled an unidentified aircraft, which had entered the country’s airspace “above the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic in the Persian Gulf.”
On December 4, 2011, Iran announced that an electronic warfare unit of the Iranian armed forces took control of a US RQ-170 spy drone, which was flying over the northeastern Iranian city of Kashmar, forcing it to land on the Iranian territory after taking control of its navigation system.