March 3, 2015

IRAN: Let Us FLASHBACK To December 2011 Shall We. US President Obama Calls On Iran To Give Back Downed U.S. Drone That Was "Accidentally" Flown Into Iranian Airspace. Iran’s Copy Of A Captured US Drone Takes First Flight

USA Today
written by AP staff
December 13, 2011

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration said it has delivered a formal request to Iran for the return of a U.S. surveillance drone captured by Iranian armed forces, but is not hopeful that Iran will comply.

President Obama said Monday that the U.S. wants the top-secret aircraft back. "We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said during a White House news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday.

In an interview broadcast live Monday night on Venezuelan state television, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said nothing to suggest his country would grant the U.S. request.

"The Americans have perhaps decided to give us this spy plane," Ahmadinejad said. "We now have control of this plane."

Speaking through an interpreter, Ahmadinejad said: "There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane, who can surely analyze this plane's system also. … In any case, now we have this spy plane."

Obama wouldn't comment on what the Iranians might learn from studying the downed aircraft. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said it's difficult to know "just frankly how much they're going to be able to get from having obtained those parts."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Panetta said they're not optimistic about getting the drone back because of recent Iranian behavior that Clinton said indicated "that the path that Iran seems to be going down is a dangerous one for themselves and the region."

"We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment as we would in any situation to any government around the world," Clinton told reporters at a State Department news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague.

"Given Iran's behavior to date we do not expect them to comply but we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners," she said.

Panetta said the request to return the drone was appropriate. "I don't expect that that will happen," he said. "But I think it's important to make that request."

Neither Obama nor Clinton would provide details of the drone request, but diplomatic exchanges between Washington and Tehran are often handled by Switzerland, which represents U.S. interests in Iran. The State Department said Monday that the Swiss ambassador to Iran met with Iranian foreign ministry officials last week but refused to say what they discussed.

Iran TV reported earlier Monday that Iranian experts were in the final stages of recovering data from the RQ-170 Sentinel, which went down in Iran earlier this month. Tehran has cited the capture as a victory for Iran and displayed the nearly intact drone on state TV. U.S. officials say the aircraft malfunctioned and was not brought down by Iran.

Despite the incident, Clinton said the administration and its allies would continue to push Iran to engage over its nuclear program while at the same time increasing pressure on the regime with new, enhanced sanctions.

"We obviously believe strongly in a diplomatic approach. We want to see the Iranians engage and, as you know, we have attempted to bring about that engagement over the course of the last three-plus years. It has not proven effective, but we are not giving up on it," she said.

Standing beside Clinton, Hague agreed.

"We're not giving up on engagement with Iran, but on a number of occasions Iran has behaved in a way in recent weeks and months which has intensified confrontation with the rest of the world," he said. "We have seen an increasing predilection for dangerous and illegal adventures on the part of at least parts of the Iranian regime."

Clinton and Hague referred to the storming of British diplomatic compounds in Tehran, allegations that Iran tried to arrange the assassination of the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Iran's ongoing support for militant groups and its continued defiance of demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.

Time Magazine
written by Jack Linshi
November 10, 2014

Iranian officials reaffirm they successfully extracted valuable technology from the downed drone

An Iranian copy of a U.S. drone that was deemed lost in 2011 has taken its first flight, its state news agency reported Monday.

Iran reported in December 2011 that it had captured a U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel reconnaissance drone, a military stealth vehicle reportedly equipped with communication and nuclear surveillance technology. After news of the drone’s flight was reported by IRNA, Iranian commanders reaffirmed that valuable technology had been extracted from the American drone, according to Reuters.

“We promised that a model of RQ-170 would fly in the second half of the year, and this has happened,” Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told IRNA. “A film of the flight will be released soon.”

Hajizadeh suggested in early 2012 that Iran had plans to reverse-engineer the drone using the vehicle’s extracted data, the New York Times reported. U.S. officials had said in response to Hajizadeh’s claims that the drone’s security system would make extracting valuable information unlikely, though they said such systems do not always function properly.

I have typed a transcript of President Obama speech he gave December 2011:

As has already been indicated, we have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond. Even if there are tactical disagreements between Iraq and the United States at this point in how to deal with Syria, I have absolutely no doubt that these decisions are being made based on what Prime Minister Maliki believes is best for Iraq. Not based on considerations of what Iran would like to see. Mr. Prime Minister as we end this war, and as Iraq faces its future, the Iraqi people must know, that you will not stand alone. You have a strong and enduring partner in the United States of America. So today the Prime Minister and I are reaffirming our common vision of a long term partnership between our nations. It's in keeping with our strategic framework agreement and it will be like a close relationships with other sovereign nations.

The Daily Caller
written by November 3, 2013

Are things so bad in Iraq that the government in Baghdad would like U.S. troops to return?

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki appealed to President Obama for the U.S. military’s assistance on Friday, after his country suffered its most violent month in over five years.

Just under 1,000 people — overwhelmingly civilians — were killed in sectarian violence across Iraq in the last 31 days, making October the deadliest month since the height of the Iraq War in April 2008. The majority died via that hallmark of the Iraqi insurgency, the car bomb.

It’s the high-water mark for a rising tide of bloodshed since the complete withdrawal of American troops in December 2011. This year has proven particularly vicious, with the United Nations estimating well over 7,000 Iraqis killed in violent attacks since the start of 2013.

That number was undoubtedly on both Obama and Maliki’s minds as they met at the White House. Maliki had refused the president’s half-hearted attempt to renew American troop authorizations in 2011, but on Friday the prime minister begged Obama to send Apache attack helicopters and other military assets before his country descends back into civil war.

written by Marc A. Thiessen
July 23, 2014

Breaking on Capitol Hill is the news that Iraqi officials began requesting almost a year ago for the US to carry out drone strikes against ISIS – but the requests were shot down by the White House. That stunning revelation came during a hearing on the situation in Iraq this morning.

The Hill reports:
During a hearing on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, House Foreign Affairs Chairman Ed Royce (R-Calif.) said the administration knew six months ago that the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) had established armed camps, staging areas and training grounds in Iraq’s western desert and its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was threatening to attack the U.S.

“However, what the Administration did not say was that the Iraqi government had been urgently requesting drone strikes against ISIS camps since August 2013,” Royce continued.

“These repeated requests, unfortunately, were turned down,” he said. “I added my voice for drone strikes as ISIS convoys raced across the desert.”
The New York Times previously reported that in May 2014 Prime Minister Maliki had “secretly asked the Obama administration to consider carrying out airstrikes against extremist staging areas” and that “Iraq’s appeals for a military response have so far been rebuffed by the White House, which has been reluctant to open a new chapter in a conflict that President Obama has insisted was over when the United States withdrew the last of its forces from Iraq in 2011.”

But the fact that Iraqis have been begging for nearly a year for the US to strike ISIS with drones – and that those requests were repeatedly denied by Obama – was not previously known.

Obama regularly authorizes drone strikes against terrorist targets in Pakistan, Yemen and the Horn of Africa. The White House even boasted that the president personally approves the “kill lists” himself.

Why on earth would he refuse to do the same in Iraq? Was he hoping the problem would just go away?

This places culpability for the current fiasco in Iraq squarely on Obama’s shoulders. We already knew that the rise of ISIS was made possible by Obama’s decision to withdraw all American forces from Iraq, against the advice of his military commanders. But now we know that as ISIS was preparing its current offensive, Obama was warned of the coming danger–and refused Iraqi requests to strike ISIS before they recaptured American-liberated cities across Iraq.

The incompetence of this administration is simply mind-boggling.
[Not incompetence. Premeditated. (emphasis mine)]

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