Teheran: Obama should apologize for downed drone
Updated: 2011-12-14 07:58
TEHERAN, Iran - US President Barack Obama should apologize for sending an unmanned spy plane into Iranian territory rather than asking for it back after it was seized, Iran's Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.
Iran announced on Dec 4 it had downed the spy plane in the eastern part of the country, near Afghanistan. It has since shown the plane on television and said it is close to cracking its technological secrets.
On Monday, Obama told a news conference: "We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond." Iranian officials had already said they would not return the drone.
"It seems that (Obama) has forgotten that our air space was violated, a spying operation conducted and international law trampled," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a news conference.
"Instead of an official apology for the offense they have committed, he is raising such a demand. America must know that the violation of Iran's air space can endanger world peace and security."
Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi told the IRNA news agency: "The US spy drone is the property of Islamic Republic of Iran. Teheran will decide what it wants to do in this regard."
Parliament issued a resolution calling the done incursion "evidence of international terrorism and a blatant violation of international law by the aggressor America", and said Iran might seek reparations from Washington.
Iran has already complained to the UN Security Council about the incursion, calling for action to "put an end to these dangerous and unlawful acts".
NATO's International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan initially said the plane may have been an unarmed US reconnaissance drone that went missing during a mission over western Afghanistan.
But a person familiar with the situation has since said in Washington that the drone was on a surveillance mission over Iran.