Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 07, 2013

Iranian Documentation On Catching Drones

In December Iran claimed that it had retrieved all data from the U.S. stealth drone RQ-170 Sentinel it had managed to take down a year earlier:
"All the intelligence existing in this drone has been completely decoded and extracted and we know each and every step it has taken (during its missions)," Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh told reporters here in Tehran on Monday.
Today a short video revealed footage the drone had taken on its flights and which the Iranians downloaded from its internal storage. This includes pictures of the Kandahar airbase from which the drone was flown.

Additional footage appears in this Iranian documentary about the drone capture (in Farsi) (24min).

Excerpts (13 min) from that documentary are available with English subtitles:

There is some interesting stuff in it. Iran actually set its missile forces on alarm to let the U.S. know that any attempt to take back the drone or to bomb it would lead to an escalation. It is good that cooler heads prevailed. Other pictures show how the drone was dismantled and transported after it was caught.

Iran had already acquired other U.S. drone types and continues to do so.

Two additional pictures appeared which show Iranian mass production of other U.S. drones it has captured. Visible are copies of the Boeing Insitu ScanEagle and AAI RQ-7 Shadow (marked with those red arrows).



We already know that Iran builds training copies of RQ-170 drones.

Persian cats taking down made in Iran RQ-170 training drones
Photo via Thomas Erdbrink - bigger

But How long will it take those smarting Iranians to build full copies of the RQ-170 stealth drone?

Posted by b on February 7, 2013 at 18:52 UTC | Permalink


Just per chance that it may give some hints as to how actually Iran captured the RQ170, I translated a part of the 24-min documentary which was omitted in the short version which has the English subtitles.

Of interest could be perhaps the bolded comment by Mr. Hajizadeh regarding their prior knowledge about the location of these aircraft in the Kandahar air base.

If it seems interesting to you let me know and I'll try to translate the remaining parts (the parts which have not been included in the subtitled short version)

Minutes: 1:50 to 6:59 (of the 24-min documentary)

IRGC Commander Hajizadeh: "When these report went to the supreme leader, he started to demand us to address the issue of drones, saying that "they are small and cannot be seen and they do spying"; and he kept warning the commanders about these drones, and wanted us to take precautions to kill or capture these drones... we managed in a few cases to make certain achievements against some of these drones (scan eagle and shadow). At around the years 2009-10 we took note that US was bringing in some new aircraft about which we knew very little. We were aware of their usage of large UAVs such as predators, X-45; there were a lot of such aircraft and they were using them but in case of RQ-170, we learned later on that it was CIA which was employing them and that Pentagon doesn't even have them, and they had brought them [RQ-170s] for special missions into this region."


Mr. Mokhtarzadeh (an engineer specialized in UAVs): "Considering that the only weak point of UAVs is the type of their communication with their command center on the ground, they took all their experience with the previous UAVs and optimized them and then brought them [experiences/concepts from previous UAVs] together in RQ170"

Mr. Abdollahi (an engineer specialized in UAVs): "In its internal subsystems, and in its guidance and navigation systems, they [Americans] incorporated absolutely unique features"

Mr. Mokhtarzadeh (an engineer specialized in UAVs):"They have left no possibility for you to detect and track this aircraft...

An aircraft without rudders which have the highest reflectivity of radar waves, and it has a great 'escape edge' [I am really not sure about this last term. I am not familiar with aerospace terminology]"

Mr. Abdollahi (an engineer specialized in UAVs): "Among other unique design features of this aircraft is that it has no reflection which would lead to its detection"

Mr. Mokhtarzadeh (an engineer specialized in UAVs):" When it came to RQ170 in the world of aviation technology, we had to look at it like a 'star'. Why? Because it was the assembly of all these optimized feature together."

IRGC Commander Hajizadeh:"there were information about this aircraft on the internet which could have been summarized into a mere two pages. Americans would publicize a lot of information about their other aircraft but when it came to RQ170,
there were not much of information because these aircraft were under the control of CIA and they were tools dedicated to spying missions.
We had gotten some reports of its flights in Pakistan, in Afghanistan, and also there were reports coming from our [P_2: presumably eastern] borders, where they had visually observed this aircraft and from the descriptions we were guessing that it must be RQ170... We were very interested in obtaining these aircraft intact...
During our analyses/investigations we learned that some of these [P_2: presumably RQ170s] are deployed in the Kandahar air base, and they are being employed from there....
We even located their [P_2:presumably RQ170s'] hangars [within the air base]. And we learned in which parts of the air base these aircraft are kept, maintained and used....

[On the map] This is the airbase from which RQ170 took off..."

Posted by: Pirouz_2 | Feb 7 2013 20:43 utc | 1

Good for the Iranians. It's always nice to see people fight back against a bully.

Posted by: Kanzanian | Feb 7 2013 21:00 utc | 2

Nice job, b, and thanks Pirouz_2 for the additional translation.

Posted by: вот так | Feb 7 2013 21:38 utc | 3


Pew Poll - Iran is overwhelmingly popular in Pakistan

Posted by: somebody | Feb 7 2013 21:47 utc | 4

Correct me if I'm wrong but don't US drones have an uplink to a US mil satellite? Does Iran have such a capability?

Posted by: ruralito | Feb 7 2013 21:56 utc | 5

there is also this

As Kerry Takes Up Post, Pakistan Moves Ahead With Iran Gas Pipeline

( – In an early challenge to newly sworn-in Secretary of State John Kerry, Pakistan has confirmed it will go ahead and complete a pipeline that will enable Iran to supply it with natural gas for decades to come. The decision is in defiance of the United States, which for years has urged Pakistan not to cooperate with Iran in this way while the international dispute over its nuclear activities remains unresolved.

As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry was a leading supporter of aid to Pakistan, and e opposed Republican attempts to make the assistance conditional on Islamabad’s cooperation in key areas.

On Monday, an Iranian company is scheduled to sign a contract in the Pakistani capital to build the section of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) pipeline that will lie within Pakistan. Iran already has completed its segment – a 600-mile-long stretch running from its giant South Pars gas field to near the Pakistan border.

Pakistan’s goal is to import 21.5 million cubic meters of Iranian gas a day by the end of 2014, assuring a reliable supply from the world’s second-largest gas reserve. For Iran, the breakout into South Asia – it hopes later to extend the IP pipeline to India – would weaken Washington’s ability to contain its hegemony in the Persian Gulf.

“America has no concern with this project which is very important for the people of Pakistan,” Ali Akbar Velayati, Iran’s former foreign minister and a top advisor to Iran’s supreme leader, told reporters at the Iranian consulate in Quetta on Sunday. “Pakistan will reject U.S. pressure and go ahead with the project.”

A day earlier, in Karachi, Velayati said, “We know that there is some pressure from outside world, especially from the United States, but both countries are determined to continue strategic cooperation.”

The senior Iranian’s visit to Pakistan, which included talks with President Asif Ali Zardari, coincided with a decision by the Pakistani federal cabinet giving final approval for the $1.5 billion IP pipeline project.

At a meeting Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, the cabinet declared the project to be in the national interest and said it should be completed as soon as possible.

Iranian and Pakistani media said the pipeline contract would go to the Tehran-based Tadbir Energy Development Group, an oil and gas company controlled by the Imam Khomeini Foundation, a government-funded charitable group.

“Pakistan does not need U.S., European companies’ technological support for implementation of Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline project. Iranian engineers have proven their ability by building gas pipelines in every corner of Iran,” Pakistan’s NNI news agency quoted Velayati as saying.

Addressing an “Islamic awakening” conference in Islamabad earlier during his visit, he said, “Muslims should avoid colonial values imposed on them by outside powers because it is Islamic values that can guarantee their salvation.” (“Islamic awakening” is Iran’s term for what others have dubbed the “Arab spring.” Tehran says the upheavals were ultimately inspired by its 1979 Islamic revolution.)

Posted by: somebody | Feb 7 2013 22:01 utc | 6

WHOA! That looks much more impressive than the fighter mockup a few days ago. Definitely, Iranian hackers are more skilled than cardboard builders and public relations staff.

Posted by: Michal | Feb 7 2013 22:18 utc | 7

5) they have a few satellites ... they make it sound though like they hacked the computer in Kandahar ...

Posted by: somebody | Feb 7 2013 22:28 utc | 8

they are definitively doing a service to mankind for finding a way to get rid of this pest - how America operates its drone empire

Posted by: somebody | Feb 7 2013 22:38 utc | 9

1 technical and 1 strategic remark:

No, one does not *need* satellites to control them (drones). The control signals are (like all satellite signals) basically radio signals and while it would be possible to check that (by calculating signal runtimes) this could be foiled, too, and would add considerably to the cost.

Furthermore, and this shows Iranians smartness, they decided to use GPS signals as attack vector. This is very smart for two reasons: First, GPS is one way communication, so there is no complicated protocol. Second GPS is rather aged and while it would be technically feasible to enhance the system (by cryptographic means) it can be considered cost prohibitive because those changes were to be made at all satellites as well as all devices using GPS.
Note: GPS can be controlled to a certain degree because it was basically a mil. development but whatever protection they built in in the old days would be easy to circumvent nowadays. Furthermore GPS signals can be received *everywhere* by their very nature and by design, that is, the Iranians could receive the same (possibly changed) signals that the drone receives.

Summary: There isnt much the americans can do against, in particular if they want a *quick* solution.

The problem behind this is actually once again what can be summarized as the bad side of "the american way". a) Hybris. The americans simply did not think it possible that anyone could even get one of their "superior" technology drones and therefore evidently did not at all or just cheaply encrypt the data on board. b) The usa is completely money and economy - and PR/advertising driven. Basically their military industry sells them - and the pentagon brass happily buy - advertising and image bullsh*t. "leadership", "superiority", "future tech", blah, blah. It's not just stupidity, it's in their blood (after so long acting like that). Quite typically someone comes up with futuristic stuff like laser weapons and the like. Any such concept has a leading line. The leading line - and utmost measure therefore - of drones was to kill with less risk and more high-tech. Evidently, when you build a starship enterprise you don't want to be bothered with minutiae and technicalia that are not vital to the guide line, to the "big picture", the vision. And so it's not even surprising that the americans didn't protect their drones well.

I'd bet half my house that the Iranians are working on something more. They won't be content with simply catching us drones. One idea that almost begs to be looks at is to turn the game around that is, a) to co-use the data of the us-satellites and b) to think of ways to feed them bullsh*t. After all, a drone has no understanding of "real" or "fake".

To explain it somewhat blunt: It makes no difference to a drone, whether what it "sees" comes from a realworld image taken by it's onboard cam or whether that image were fed directly into it's memory.

This problem is of high importance and strategic value because the mere fact that the us may be forced to rely again more on humans rather than their envisioned robot army has a very high deterrence factor in favour of Iran.

Bravo, Iran!

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 7 2013 23:37 utc | 10

Pirouz_2 @ 1. Thanks for taking the time to do a partial translation.
Much appreciated.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Feb 8 2013 1:31 utc | 11

Would it be possible for Iran to turn the tables and have US drones fire hellfire missiles at its own troops? [not advocating murder here].

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 8 2013 1:40 utc | 12

vid commentary [4.30 into it]"... the other side [US] was surprised and said things that were far from the truth..."

Well, that's what 'we' have to endure every single day, you know. That's what we call 'democracy; the media regurgitating corporate/military BS. Ain't that much difference between dictator's and heavily protected 'democratic leaders' any longer.

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 8 2013 1:51 utc | 13

@ Pirouz_2 [#1]

Thank you for your time and effort translating this stuff. Very much appreciated. Here in Japan they have an expression 'koto dama' which means 'the spirit of words.' I speak a few languages and am fully aware of how difficult it is to [correctly] translate nuances that might escape or in worse case scenarios even misdirect readers into believing something that is not or partially true. Sometimes things really get 'Lost in Translation.'

Posted by: Daniel Rich | Feb 8 2013 2:02 utc | 14

12) if it is true that they could hack the computer and take over the drone in its start phase in Kandahar, then they can do all kinds of stuff with any US drone anywhere. It would mean the drone strategy is dead basically.

Why did they make this video now? Nasrallah, when analyzing the 2006 war, said their mistake had been to not let the other side know their capabilities. Their weaponry is meant to stop the Israelis not to go to war. Same applies for Iran. They are not itching for a fight, the experience they had in the Iran-Iraq war will last for many generations I am sure.

The full Eric Schmidt interview is interesting: He says they know that Iran has managed to reroute the whole of the internet traffic of Denmark.

The Iranians are really having fun with the drone.

The video is a warning what Iranians can do if forced to.

There is also this analysis - even before the video was shown

The message basically is

a) we target your bases in the area
b) we can take over your computers

Posted by: somebody | Feb 8 2013 7:11 utc | 15

Daniel Rich (12)

No, Iran quite certainly does not have that ability (to turn us drones against the us). Unlike the GPS system the remote control protocols can be changed and rather quickly.

somebody (15)

In my minds eye the stuff in your last link is propaganda and bullsh*t written from a purely us perspective and full of void bla bla.

I also doubt that the Iranians can take over us drones in Kandahar. Quite certainly they can not take them over at all. Maybe, very maybe, they could get a more or less limited access. I don't think so, however, because years ago material was taken from us drones (by some limited kind of communication take over) if I remember correctly. So, sure enough the americans have learned from that and enhanced some things.

But then, they don't need to. They can build almost the same drones themselves *plus* enhance and harden relevant aspects based on their own "hacking" experience.

And once more (risking to bore you *g) I have to stress the point that one and the same thing can be very different in different countries and situations.
The us is an extremely aggressive country and one that wants and does light up wars any- and everywhere. That, its very doctrine and core, of course plays a major part in weapons development - and usage.
It's no coincidence that the us uses drones as an increasingly important way to intrude in souverain air spaces and to bring death and destruction.

The Iranian situation and doctrine is very different and so one should expect a rather different usage, application and (coming) specialisation of their gained high-tech drone know-how.

I strongly doubt that Iran will attack us carrier helicopters (as said amongst other BS in that article linked).

Sure, Iran will at times also use that technology to spy around its borders.

The core of Iranians military scenario, however is different and twofold:
- a potential us aggression
- a potential aggression and/or conflict with israel
(a very weak third might be a conflict with saudi arabia or other despotic sheiks. But those are by no means serious opponents on one hand and on the other they can be considered merely areas for american bases and following barking dogs).

The core of the american mil. power is their carriers and, to a lesser degree, their bases everywhere and then some more.

Simply speaking: "Sink them carriers and the us is a warrior in a wheel chair".

in that respect I expect the Iranians to use drones (amongst other application) as a very cheap way to enter the area of a carrier group in a very hard to detect way and to a) observe them and b) mark them (light them). Actually, this is part of a "chain rection" that is positive for the Iranians. Having an excellent means to target, obeserve and mark core adversary targets allows you to have cheaper missiles (don't underestimate the cost and complexity of good targetting/follow/detect systems in missiles!). Even better, no radar needed ~ being less detectable oneself. And so on ...

Another very nice and striking example for the importance of (mil.) situation and doctrine (or differences thereof:

As the us brawls and maraudes globally they must have a global system like GPS. The Iranians, though, can use other means of locational services and those , unlike GPS, can be hardened or even encrypted. effectively this means that more or less all american drones can be kidnapped or crashed while Iranian drones, based on the same high-tech, can not.

Last but not least: While I'm in no position to judge that en detail it must be noted that those RQ-170 seem to "contain" some of the most advanced us know-how about avionics and stealth. That alone is a major treasure for Iran once they have analyed it (which I think I did) and learned to translate it to fighter jets. At the same time, the Iranians have, no doubt, gained a much more detailed understanding of us air force capabilities as well as potential attack vectors against it.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 8 2013 9:33 utc | 16

Iran plays chess, while the USA plays checkers.

Never a truer word spoken.

Posted by: david | Feb 8 2013 10:17 utc | 17

@Mr. Pragma The core of Iranians military scenario, however is different and twofold:
- a potential us aggression
- a potential aggression and/or conflict with israel
(a very weak third might be a conflict with saudi arabia or other despotic sheiks. But those are by no means serious opponents on one hand and on the other they can be considered merely areas for american bases and following barking dogs).

Look north. There is a war brewing between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Armenia has Russian and somewhat Iranian backing while Azerbaijahn has Turkish and Israeli backing. Any conflict between the two could get easily out of hand and implicate Iran.

Posted by: b | Feb 8 2013 11:20 utc | 18

Absolutely, b (18)


But the Iranian doctrine and strategy must focus on the core, i.e. most probable and most dangerous scenarios.

Any other conflict (that I did not mean to exclude) can quite clearly be handled (and probably quite easily) by a military that is well prepare to deal with us/nato or israeli attacks.

Furthermore turkey could widely be considered as but one variant of us/nato conflict.

I think that Irans job in the scenario you mentioned would be rather about being a realiable southern wall. The major part of that conflict would quite probably be handled by Russia (which again is probably the very reason the conflict will hardly break out).

Also one should have second and third thoughts concerning an turkey/israel alliance ...

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 8 2013 11:41 utc | 19

16) if it was propaganda what would it be for?

Posted by: somebody | Feb 8 2013 12:00 utc | 20

somebody (20)

Sorry, I don't have an answer and frankly I didn't even look for one. After reading certain bullsh*t (and lots of it) I just didn't care.

Just to avoid misunderstandings: My criticism was not towards you but towards the linked text.

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 8 2013 13:11 utc | 21

b, you do good work, but once again, your shitty when it comes to cats. I think those are American domestic shorthairs, NOT PERSIANS. Seriously, why would anyone ever trust you again? [indignant huff]


Posted by: scottindallas | Feb 8 2013 14:06 utc | 22

I was thinking the Iranian jet and some of this might be Iran seeking tech and production swaps with Russia, China, India. I don't know if RCI have any stealth drones. This might give IRan the leverage to access RCI's top avionics.

Posted by: scottindallas | Feb 8 2013 14:27 utc | 23

21; you are right Mr. Pragma, one should always go to the original source.

This is the US Army publication from September 2012 the report is based on

Such media analysis regarding Iranian capabilities in the Persian Gulf focuses on whether it has the naval capability to make good on its threats to close the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian naval exercises highlight the danger to American warships posed by swarming small boats. Maritime insurance companies worry about Iranian mining of oil tanker routes in the Persian Gulf.

Iran’s nascent unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), however, pose a new threat which can impact international shipping and air traffic, both civilian and military, in the Persian Gulf. Iranian UAV development appears to be real; as mentioned in this latest Fars News article, Iran’s Defense Ministry and the IRGC have tested UAVs publicly. An English language Fars News article picking up on the same deputy defense minister interview as the Persian version below focused more on UAV models and capacity than on recent decisions to fit drones with missiles or cultivate intelligence from the American drone captured by Iran in December 2011 (See:

The Persian Gulf is an extremely shallow body of water, with a maximum depth of less than 300 feet. Islands extending national maritime boundaries make international waters narrow.

If unarmed Iranian UAVs already posed a growing threat to aircraft and helicopters operating in international airspace over the Persian Gulf, then armed UAVs can throw gasoline onto an already combustible situation. Unlike their manned counterparts, radio protocols to warn off UAVs threatening U.S. ships’ safety parameter are unclear. A growing UAV fleet might embolden the IRGC to test the defenses of American naval vessels and the UAVs’ armament might also require U.S. or other international forces to fire sooner upon intruders while they are farther afield.

As Iran’s UAV fleet grows in terms of range and capability, the Persian Gulf risks are becoming far more dangerous. End OE Commentary (Rubin)

Posted by: somebody | Feb 8 2013 14:42 utc | 24

This also gives a lie to the US claim when the drone went down that they used a fail-safe to wipe the hard drive. At the time, they basically called Iran liars for claiming they had recovered all the flight data.

MK Bradrakumar has a good piece today showing that times are good for Iran geopolitically and that Pro-US forces are in decline. One Paragraph sums it up nicely:

Three major happenings within one week would have to be taken as the inevitable confluence of a flow of developments and processes: the offer by the Syrian opposition of a bilateral dialogue with the Bashar al-Assad regime; the historic visit of an Iranian president to Egypt; and the public, unconditional offer by the United States of direct talks with Iran and the latter's ready acceptance of it.

Despite US claims that Iran is "isolated" a simple look at the map shows that regionally it is probably at the height of its power. In neighbouring Iraq it has got rid of its long time enemy Saddam Hussein and ushered in a Shia-led Government. In Lebanon Hezbollah has become the dominant political party unseating that spoiled rich kid Hairri. In Syria Assad has crushed the Saudi-Qatar-US rebels to the point they are pleading for peace talks. Afghanistan is going well from the Iranian point of view in that its two enemies are battering themselves into a stalemate. And now Revolutionary Egypt and Tunisia are shedding decades of hostility to move closer to Iran. All this while maintaining Iran's two "great power" allies in Russia and China.

Iran faces less enemies in the Middle East now than at anytime since 1979.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Feb 8 2013 16:30 utc | 25

Colm O' Toole (25)

Yes. I had similar thoughts when reading that article.

I think one major factor in this development is that Iran has given solid grounds to pan-Muslim hope in two important ways:

Forgetting usrael smearings and propaganda for a moment, I think that the Sunni vs. Shiah issue is greatly exaggerated and, more importantly, that in the context of usrael pretty all Muslims are quite united.

Maybe not *the* but anyway a very important trigger for the muslim world was that the usa installed themselves (evidently with long term intentions) not too far away from the holy sites in saudi arabia.

I don't remember who it was, but some years ago one of the more important muslim figures said something along the lines "We are not at all interested in bringing harm to america. We are, however, very much decided to not tolerate thema doing whatever they please in *our* countries".

While, of course, the despotic sheik dogs seem to be usa's best friends, they do no represent their people, not in that point and not in other points. The attitude told above comes, I think, pretty close to what a majority in the region feels.

And Iran has done two important things:
- They have staid peaceful, rational and reasonable (unlike usrael) - but tough.
- They have proven that one *can* resist usraels policy of terror.

Thus they naturally became a, possibly the, major force in the region. And an orientation point for others.


On a seemingly completely different topic:

I'm asking myself whether obama isn't pulling off a brilliant move right now (re -> brennan nomination).

I'm asking myself, if he really intended to push brennan through the nomination or if his real goal is quite different and very smartly executed ...

Obama is common people player. And the common american, republican or democrat, loves the message "america first. After the storm and in the crisis we must put party bickering aside and seend do what's needed and best for the american people. That is why I chose an "opponent" as defense sec. - He's simply the best man for the job and in our tight situation I must not be a democrat but a president for *all* americans (and take the best man, even if he's republican").

But it gets hotter ...

Actually this is one of the extremely few ways imaginable to start a discussion/process aiming for freedom from aipac and zionist control.

Sure enough, whoever started an open affront against aipac would fail. But being the "reasonable good peoples president" who is (relatively) rather open to cooperation and who was lauded for pragmatic cooperation with the republican new-jersey governor, he may well have opened pandoras box.

The average jo (being prodded a little, if necessary) hardly can but ask himself "how come, a (staunch pro zion) democrat (kerry) was easily passed by the republicans but one of their own was bluntly grilled and badly treated by his own party fellows?"

I'm not sure but I'm feeling that exactly this was obamas reason to nominate brennan. That would also explain why the usa spit in Irans face (with new sanctions) the day after their "generous" offer. That wasn't about Iran, that might well have been needed for a decicive game in the usa.

What do you think? Am I getting senile or might this be not that far off?

Posted by: Mr. Pragma | Feb 8 2013 17:19 utc | 26

@ Mr Pragma 26

Obama is definately doing what he can to undermine the Israel lobby. You can see this in both his appointments and his personal relationship with Netanyahu. Andrew Sullivan at the Dish has spent alot of time going over the internal politics of this cold war between the Likudniks and the Realists. But I would say the underreported aspect of the story which rarely gets mentioned in the one institution which AIPAC has little influence over, the US Military.

David Petraeus (March 2010):

The enduring hostilities between Israel and some of its neighbors present distinct challenges to our ability to advance our interests in the AOR [Area of Operations]. Israeli-Palestinian tensions often flare into violence and large-scale armed confrontations. The conflict foments anti-American sentiment, due to a perception of U.S. favoritism for Israel. Arab anger over the Palestinian question limits the strength and depth of U.S. partnerships with governments and peoples in the AOR and weakens the legitimacy of moderate regimes in the Arab world. Meanwhile, al-Qaeda and other militant groups exploit that anger to mobilize support.

The US Military leadership views things through cold facts and its aim is to preserve US dominance of the globe. What the above quote from Petraus (then the head of Centcom but soon after promoted to CIA head) shows is that Israels alliance is making it more difficult for the US to exercise dominance over the Asian landmass since it angers over a billion people.

This view was shared by Admiral Mike Mullen and Joe Biden as well. As this Foreign Policy piece (registration required) discusses.

"The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel's actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops"

Certainly Obama's actions and appointments (including trying to appoint Chas Freeman back in 08) point to Obama being willing to undermine the Israel lobby. But I think behind him stands the US Military which doesn't like the power of the lobby due to Patriotic reasons and because it harms US goals in the long run.

As DC Insider Mark Perry wrote in relation to this:

There are important and powerful lobbies in America: the NRA, the American Medical Association, the lawyers -- and the Israeli lobby. But no lobby is as important, or as powerful, as the U.S. military.

Posted by: Colm O' Toole | Feb 8 2013 19:34 utc | 27

Iran to unveil radar-evading drone in April: Iran cmdr.

Commander of Khatam al-Anbiya Air Defense Base Brigadier General Farzad Esmaili said Saturday that the drone, named Hazem, will be unveiled on April 18 on the National Army Day.

Esmaili said the UAV is stealth, enjoys high maneuvering capabilities, and can be used in reconnaissance missions.

In recent years, Iran has made great achievements in its defense sector and attained self-sufficiency in producing essential military equipment and systems.

Iran unveiled its first indigenous long-range drone, Karrar, in August 2010. The aircraft is capable of carrying a military payload of rockets to carry out bombing missions against ground targets, flying long distances at a high speed, and gathering information.

In September 2012, the country also unveiled a new indigenous UAV, Shahed 129, with a 24-hour nonstop flight capability.

In December, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said Iran had also launched a production line for the manufacture of ScanEagle-type drones.

Meanwhile, Iran’s Deputy Defense Minister Mohammad Eslami said on Wednesday that the country will unveil its latest long-range drone in May.

Posted by: b | Feb 9 2013 19:24 utc | 28

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