Iran believes U.S. drone was spying on oil tankers - report

DUBAI Sun Nov 11, 2012 9:38pm IST

Related Topics

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iran believes a U.S. drone targeted by its forces this month was gathering intelligence on oil tankers off its shores, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander told the semi-official Mehr news agency on Sunday.

Washington said Iranian warplanes opened fire on an unarmed U.S. drone over international waters on November 1. Iran said it had repelled an aircraft violating its airspace.

The incident underlined the risk of escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran in an ongoing dispute over Tehran's nuclear programme.

"The drone was flying near Kharg Island and our understanding is that ... it was gathering economic information and intelligence on Kharg Island and oil tankers (in the area)," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by Mehr.

Facilities on Kharg Island handle most of Iran's crude oil exports.

"The Islamic Republic of Iran has some red lines that the Americans should understand and respect. If this is repeated, we will definitely react," he added.

Washington, the EU and other bodies have imposed sanctions on Iran's oil trade to press it to halt nuclear research the West fears is aimed as developing the capability to build a nuclear bomb.

The United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran, if diplomacy fails to resolve the row.

Iran denies the charge saying its nuclear work is purely for peaceful purposes.

(Reporting by Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

FILED UNDER:

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Racial Unrest

Racial Unrest

Calm comes to troubled Ferguson; protests dwindle in other U.S. cities  Full Article | Video 

Suicide Attack

Suicide Attack

Taliban kill 5 in Kabul in attacks on British embassy car, foreign compound   Full Article | Video 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Canada to deploy military health staff to Sierra Leone in Ebola fight  Full Article 

IS Funds

IS Funds

Islamic State lacks funds to keep control of Iraqi, Syrian territory - experts   Full Article 

Myanmar Reforms

Myanmar Reforms

Dinner with Suu Kyi? - No thanks, say Myanmar military.  Full Article 

Indonesia Leader

Indonesia Leader

Can man-of-the-people Widodo micromanage 240 million Indonesians?  Full Article 

Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day

Thankful to arrive on snowy U.S. holiday with power out, travel delays  Full Article 

Crime in Mexico

Crime in Mexico

Mexico president vows to reform police, battle organized crime  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage