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Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:10 AM

Iran fired on U.S. drone over Gulf: Pentagon

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/11/09/us-usa-iran-drone-idUSBRE8A71C520121109

(Reuters) - Iranian warplanes fired at an unarmed U.S. drone in international airspace last week but did not hit the aircraft, the Pentagon said on Thursday, disclosing details of an unprecedented incident that triggered a formal warning to Tehran through diplomatic channels.

The November 1 intercept was the first time Tehran had fired at an unmanned American aircraft, in a stark reminder of how tensions between the United States and Iran could escalate quickly into violence.

If Iran had hit the drone, as the Pentagon believes it was trying to do, it could have forced American retaliation - with the potential consequences that entails.

According to the timeline provided by the Pentagon, two Iranian SU-25 "Frogfoot" aircraft intercepted the American drone at about 4:50 a.m. EST (0850 GMT) as it conducted a routine, but classified, surveillance mission over Gulf waters about 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:51 AM

1. They are playing footsies !



I do not believe any significant armed conflict will be directly started by either US or Iran. However, my sense is that there are 3rd parties involving the Syrian conflict that could drag both into a wider conflict.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 05:51 AM

2. Yeah, if Iranian Pilots, Missle Systems and Targeting Technology are such...

that the combination of all three can't kill an UNARMED SURVAILENCE DRONE, I'm not real worried about them flipping a nuke at us.

And yes, I understand that the existential threat isn't to us over here, so much as it is to Israel, Iran's neighbors and to the reigon as a whole.

But still, they have to know that if they can't handle a fuckin' DRONE aircraft, do they REALLY think they can screw around with pissing us off? My bet is that they know they can't, and therefore, won't.

(On EDIT) The real test here, is wether WE can put up with having an UNMANNED aircraft shot at by a military that clearly can't hit what it's aiming at, and not lose our shit. I think The President can do that, but can the idiot neocon's and their brainwashed "there were WMD inside of Iraq" TeaParty lemmings do the same?
I'll take "NO" for 500, Alex.

I am SO GLAD The Presidnet got re-elected. Imagine if this were Romney's first day as President-Elect, and this had happened...

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Response to Volaris (Reply #2)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:16 AM

3. Remember: it's not that iran is a threat to the usa

However, there is real concern from other arab nations and Israel.

The biggest risks are Iran either supplying WMDs to proxies in an Syrian conflict OR there being a dragged out conflict involving long-term damage to the oil supply in the Gulf. Personally, I don't think Iran's interested in any military conflict.

I think they are just playing The Game in an attempt to gain regional influence.

That influence is very much about them having support from China and Russia, so it's essentially a global dynamic at play.

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Response to CabCurious (Reply #3)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:12 AM

5. Agreed, we just have to play The Game better...

I think we can, and I think with Obama re-elected, we WILL.

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Response to Volaris (Reply #5)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:33 AM

8. That's the problem though... this game is a regional one

We cannot control how the regional players will handle themselves, especially with Iran increasingly saber rattling and threatening stability. It really wouldn't take much for instability to spread in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, and Turkey.

What happens if the Iranian regime itself faces instability?

Long-term, this game doesn't offer a lot of hope - if Iran continues to push towards having nuclear capabilities.

Personally, the best solution for huge political gains in the middle east would be for ISRAEL to suddenly change their nuclear policy as an act of good faith. But that isn't going to happen.

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Response to CabCurious (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:41 AM

10. Agree on Israel...unless WE do so first...

If our overall Foreign Policy "idea" is that we would World Peace and Non-proliferation, we have to step up and LEAD.

Also agree that it's a regional game. For us to play Honest Broker, we have to get to the meat of what all the players would consider a "win". I would be willing to bet that Israel would lay back a bit on not caring so much if Iran has a nuke, if there were a Government (preferably Democratically Elected) in Tehran that didn't consider "driving the Jews into the sea" to be a noble goal of Iran's Foreign Policy.

Maybe we should tell the Iranian People "We kind of don't care if you know how to build a nuke, and even if you know how to set one off and not kill yourselves in the process, but we kinda would like that to NOT be a part of the Government you have NOW (wink, wink, hint, hint).

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Response to Volaris (Reply #2)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 09:46 AM

11. What makes you think the warmongers made them easy to shoot down?

They need them in the air so they can murder women and children.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 06:51 AM

4. I cannot imagine they missed by accident

Drones are relatively slow and would not be all that good in a dogfight. They are, on the other hand, a fairly small target. Of course they might have been distracted if something on one of our ships locked on them...

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:19 AM

6. lol yeah, the threat of a surface-to-air missle from the US Navy can have a way

of changing attitudes right quick, can't it?

But...it's equally hard for me to believe that they missed on purpose...you don't shoot at something you don't INTEND to kill...cause that's a REALLY good way to start an Unintentional War, and get a lot of good people killed for basically a screw-up.

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Response to quaker bill (Reply #4)

Fri Nov 9, 2012, 07:25 AM

7. Ill trained Iranian pilots flying aircraft not designed for air-to-air combat

is the more likely reason they missed.

The SU-25 is a ground attack aircraft.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #7)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 10:08 AM

12. It might also be worth noting that it's the air arm of the Revolutionary Guard...

...that operates Iran's SU-25s, not the regular Iranian Air Force. Unless the decision to fire was made at or near the head-of-state level, different people would have been making the call.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Sun Nov 11, 2012, 08:42 AM

9. And, if they sent a drone over our country, we'd try to shoot it down, too.

The media are tying themselves in knots trying to gin up outrage in support of another war. Do they think the Iranians are going to just sit back and allow it, without doing anything about it? And, how long have we been sending drones over there before they actually figured it out? Years? I have already heard wingnuts pissing in their pants believing that we're going to wind up nuking Iran within 3 months. This just feeds into all their bed-wetting. Thanks, Reuters.

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