Iran Refuses to Return US Unmanned Drone


Last week a US unmanned aircraft drone was captured by the Iranian military after it flew across the Afganistan-Iran border. According to Aljazeera and Fox News this has caused a huge amount of unrest between the US and Iran, as Iran has refused to return the drone after obtaining it. Iran has demanded that Obama apologize for what government perceives as “tantamount to an act of hostility” and “violations and acts of aggression”.

However, Obama has currently refused to apologize and is instead formally requesting the Iranian government return the drone. Obama is quoted as saying: “We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond.”

Currently both Aljazeera and Fox News state the Iranian government has claimed that they shot down the unmanned drone using electronic weaponry so as to cause as little damage as possible to the aircraft. The US government has contradicted their statements by saying the drone crashed after malfunctioning, causing the aircraft operators to lose control of it.

Despite these two articles being from two completely different new agencies, I find these articles to be surprisingly similar in content. In a move I did not expect from Fox News both sides of the story were reported about how exactly the drone fell into Iranian possession, revealing the contradictory claims from both governments about whether the drone was shot down or if it simply malfunctioned. Aljazeera did the same, but elaborated little on the US side of the statement. Aljazeera summarized the US statement of malfunction in a single sentence, while Fox News added a little more context and information.

As for the issue at hand, to me this seems to be a case of two wrongs do not make a right. America was wrong to have secretly used drones to spy on Iranian territory, but I do not agree that Iran should keep and reverse engineer the drone. This kind of action does not defuse a conflict, but makes it worse and further deteriorates relationships with other countries.

Fox News: Iran Nearly Finished Decoding U.S. Drone, Tehran Claims

Aljazeera: Iran rebuffs US appeal to return downed drone


About middleeastcommentary

As an Associate Professor in Electronic Media Communication at Middle Tennessee State University, I teach courses in Media in the Middle East, among other courses analyzing media. I also produce media -- a recent documentary on the Kurds of Northern Iraq "More than the Mountains: Kurdistan of Iraq" produced following two trips to Iraq in 2005 and 2008.
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One Response to Iran Refuses to Return US Unmanned Drone

  1. Clare Bratten says:

    You may recall that a primary figure in the documentary on Al Jazeera, “Control Room” was the Army media spokesman Josh Rushing.

    In a cable TV report on the downing of the U.S. drone, here is (a bearded and reportedly a converted Muslim) Josh Rushing, now a reporter for Al Jazeera. (The link was in Mike Gruber’s post).


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