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:
  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

ISLAMIC STATE

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Japan Quake

Japan Quake

Magnitude 6.8 quake hits central Japan; no tsunami warning.  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

Mali records new Ebola case, linked to dead nurse.  Full Article 

U.S. in Afghanistan

U.S. in Afghanistan

Obama approves fresh guidelines for U.S. military in Afghanistan.  Full Article 

Nuclear Iran

Nuclear Iran

West not expected to demand Iran atom bomb "mea culpa" in deal.  Full Article 

Bahrain Elections

Bahrain Elections

Bahrain holds elections, Shi'ite opposition boycotts vote.  Full Article 

Colombia's FARC

Colombia's FARC

Colombia's Santos says FARC release of hostages will be next week.  Full Article 

Sarkozy Speaks

Sarkozy Speaks

France's Sarkozy wants EU to lose half its powers.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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