'Iran military landed US spy drone'
Iran's Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaei
Iran's Ambassador to the UN Mohammad Khazaei says the Iranian military landed the American spy drone that recently violated the Iranian airspace without firing at the advanced recon aircraft.
“Iranian authorities did not shoot the drone down, but actually they brought it down by their own ways and means,” Khazaei said in an interview with CNN on Thursday.
“It was brought down somewhere in about some 150 miles or 250 kilometers deep into the Iranian territory in province of Khorasan in the northern city of Tabas,” he added.
He noted that Tehran probes Washington's objectives for such an act of aggression.
On December 4, the Iranian Army's electronic warfare unit downed with minimum damage the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft in Iran's North Khorasan Province.
The aircraft, designed and developed by the American company Lockheed Martin, had crossed into Iran's airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan.
Two US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity on Tuesday, confirmed that the drone had been part of a CIA reconnaissance mission, involving the United States intelligence community stationed in Afghanistan.
Iran's UN envoy further dismissed claims that Iran would transfer information about the downed US drone to other countries.
Khazaei on Thursday lodged an appeal in an official letter to the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, urging the world body to condemn the violation of Iran's airspace by the US spy drone and take necessary measures to end these “dangerous and illegal” acts.
The Iranian government insists that the "blatant and provocative” violation of Iran's airspace is tantamount to an act of hostility against the country, which is a flagrant breach of the international law, particularly the fundamental principles of the UN Charter, the diplomat pointed out.