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US asks Iran to return 'lost' drone

By Lalit K Jha
December 13, 2011 09:58 IST
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The United States has asked Iran to return the drone that Tehran claims was brought down while it was flying over its territory, but expressed doubt that the country would do so.

"You know, we submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment, as we would in any situation to any government around the world," Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said.

"Given Iran's behaviour to date, we do not expect them to comply," Clinton said.

"But we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners, starting with the UK," Clinton said.

Tehran has already said that it will not return the drone, which is said to be of a very sensitive nature.

Earlier in the day, US President Barack Obama said, "As has already been indicated, we have asked for it (drone) back. We'll see how the Iranians respond."

Obama refused to comment on the impact of this drone in Iran on America's security interest.

"With respect to the drone inside of Iran, I am not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified," he said.

It was the first open confirmation by the US that the drone was in Iranian hands.

Meanwhile, the US said Iran is fearful of ideas to its people, indicated by the fact that it has blocked the Virtual Embassy Tehran. The Virtual Embassy Tehran was launched by the State Department last week in its attempt to reach out to the people of Iran directly.

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Lalit K Jha In Washington
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