09302014Tue

White House: no evidence Iran drone claim is true

WASHINGTON (AFP) — The White House said Tuesday it had no evidence that Iran's claim to have captured a US drone spy plane was true.

"We have no evidence that the Iranian claims you cite are true," White House spokesman Jay Carney told a reporter, when asked about Tehran's claims it had captured intact a US drone that penetrated its airspace over Gulf waters.

The naval arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards said in a statement on the Guards website Sepahnews.com that "the unmanned US drone patrolling Persian Gulf waters, performing reconnaissance and gathering intel, was captured as soon as it entered Iranian airspace."

The statement did not say how the aircraft was captured, nor where or when the incident took place. It said only that the drone had been conducting a mission over "the past few days."

A spokesman for the US Fifth Fleet based in the Gulf said the American navy has not lost any of its drones.

"All our active unmanned aerial vehicles working here have been accounted for," US 5th spokesman Commander Jason Salata told AFP.

"Nothing lost recently, in months," in the area of operation for the Fifth fleet, which stretches from the Gulf to the Horn of Africa, he said.

Iranian State television networks Al-Alam and Press TV showed footage of what they said was the captured ScanEagle drone.

The light-grey, unmarked vehicle was shown suspended inside a hangar and apparently intact, with two Guards officers examining it in front of a poster saying, in English: "We shall trample on the US."

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