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Iran obtains fresh information on downed US RQ-170 drone: Minister

Press TV [1]
July 1, 2012

Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi says the country has obtained new technical information regarding the downed US RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone.

“Acquiring the details and technical specifications of the RQ-170 is taking its normal course, and new achievements have been made in this respect; however, we do not intend to publicize them,” said Vahidi on Sunday.

On December 4, the Iranian military’s electronic warfare unit announced that the country had successfully downed the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth reconnaissance aircraft inside Iran with minimal damage.

The aircraft, designed and developed by the American company Lockheed Martin, had crossed into Iran’s airspace over the border with neighboring Afghanistan.

In response to a question about Iran’s 2011 complaint against Russia at the International Court of Justice over Moscow’s refusal to ship S-300 air defense systems to Tehran, Vahidi noted that the issue is under examination at the relevant international legal bodies, adding that it is normal for legal proceedings at the international courts of law to get prolonged.

Under a contract signed in 2007, Russia is required to provide Iran with at least five S-300 air defense systems.

However, Moscow’s continuous delays in delivering the defense system has drawn criticism from the Islamic Republic on several occasions.

Russia has been refusing to deliver the system to Iran under the pretext that the system is covered by the fourth round of UN Security Council resolutions against Iran.

The Iranian defense minister also alluded to Iran’s endeavors to safeguard the security of the Strait of Hormuz, saying the Islamic Republic has so far been the key provider of security in the region and has countered threats against the strategic waterway.

Vahidi pointed to Iran’s vital interests in the Strait of Hormuz and reaffirmed Tehran’s resolve to monitor all the developments across the waterway.

The Strait of Hormuz is a narrow shipping channel that leads in and out of the Persian Gulf between Iran and Oman.

More than a third of the world’s seaborne oil exports pass through the narrow Strait of Hormuz, according to Reuters.