Iran's state news agency reported this morning that they have "hunted" and captured an unarmed surveillance vehicle, but the United States Navy says it hasn't lost any drones. The Iranian Navy claims the drone violated its airspace several times in the last few days before being "caught and brought under control." The alleged drone (a ScanEagle UAV manufactured by a Boeing subsidiary) was put on display on Iranian TV under a banner reading, "We will trample the U.S. under our feet."
Of course, the U.S. Navy isn't the only outfit that might be watching the skies over Iran these days. It was one year ago today that Iran revealed that it took down a U.S. spy plane, but that drone reportedly belonged to the CIA, not the Navy. (Iran claims they hacked the drone remotely and forced it down; the U.S. says it crashed.) So even if the Navy is telling the truth, the Iranians may still have something that belongs to us.
Iran has filed at least eight complaints with the United Nations that the U.S. has invaded its airspace, and back in October, they fired on a U.S. Predator drone that was flying over the Persian Gulf. But that also hasn't stopped Iran from bragging about its own ability to spy on Israel (who might be another possible culprit?) or claims to have hacked and reverse engineered the spy plane that they found last year. Whatever happened with this particular plane, this covert battle in the skies is slowly becoming the active front where any possible war with Iran will begin.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.