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The US Drone, a Gift to the Ashura Mourners

By Nazanin Kamdar, Rooz Online

A Defeat Worse than the one During the Cold War

Iranian government media and officials have declared the possession of the US drone by the IRGC revolutionary Guards to be a "defeat for US intelligence" at a scale worse than the one it experienced during the Cold War, and have gone as far as announcing the event to be a divine reward for the mourners. At the same time, commanders of the IRGC through numerous press conferences have presented various versions of "taking over the ultra-advanced American spy plane by the selfless Guards," who according to a user of Balatarin social media, "are on the verge of declaring a national celebration" over the event.

Fars news agency, affiliated to Iranian security and military agencies which has published the greatest number of reports on the crash of the drone, has claimed that the event compares to America's most significant defeat during the cold war. "America's failure in losing the RQ-170 drone over Iran is comparable to its greatest intelligence defeat from the former Soviet Union in the case of the U-2 spy plane" that was shot down in 1960. "What is comparable in both cases is that US military planners were shocked in both of these events. In 1960, it was the advanced U-2 that was suddenly shot down by the Soviet missile defense while it was flying comfortably over the Soviet Union believing nobody was aware of its whereabouts. That used to be considered an unprecedented defeat in the history of US intelligence failures until [this] drone was captured by the cyber forces of our country and it is now the center of attention," it wrote.

In another report Fars news agency wrote, "The ability of the Islamic republic in discovering and guiding the most advanced American radar-evading drone, has challenged the most secret and most expensive air project of the United States. With a budget of about 44 billion Dollars, this project is labeled as 'the most expensive airplane in aerospace history' and only 20 such planes have been built today."

In a third report, Fars quotes American analysts and writes, "This plane is now considered a jewel for Iran even though everything depends on what it was carrying but one of the systems that such planes have carried in the past is the AESA radar. This is a very advanced system which is a new type of radar for our future planes. And not just for pilotless drones, but even piloted aircraft such as F-22 and F-35 can use this radar. The loss of the pilotless RQ-170 is considered the greatest Christmas present to our enemies in at least a decade. Now everybody will know our abilities and skills in gathering intelligence."

In a related event, Kazem Sedighi, the speaker at this week's Friday congregational prayer in Tehran, called the crash of the drone, "the reward for those who mourned on Ashura the death of imam Hussein." He continued, "The Americans had sent planes known as stealth hunters with the most advanced radar evading systems into our country but God presented us with a reward for the mourners and the void that was created because of the death of general Tehran-Moghadam is thus repaid." This time, the American hunter was captured by our hunters," he exclaimed.

The deputy commander of the IRGC force, general Salami also appeared on television and spoke about what he called the special features of the "captured" drone. "The gap between us, the US, the Zionist regime (i.e., Israel) and other countries is not so great as to make access to such a plane a dream for us. This is certainly a victory and a normal event for us. A confidence boom in the area of technology has come to our armed forces and we proved that despite sanctions and isolation, we can attain our technological needs in the sphere of defense."

Kayhan newspaper, which is closely aligned to the supreme leader of the country, also had an editorial on the subject. "Senior officials of the CIA spy service will wonder for a long time on how the super advanced RA-170 spy plane was hunted by Iran. Hunting may not be the right word, how this radar evading and stealth plane was wrapped and brought down to earth. The shock that this event has created across the intelligence and cyber war institutions in the US is unprecedented. Iran's electronic warfare succeeded in cutting the communications between the drone and the main Afghan station, and in addition, takeover its radar controls and even neutralize its self-destructive mechanism. What [we] will do with this plane is another headache for the US intelligence agency. But more important than the plane itself and the information pertaining to it is the ability and process of infiltrating the cyber military-espionage complex of the United States which is unstable. Now neither the CIA, the Pentagon, nor any US military-intelligence center has the security that they used to have in the past."

It should be noted that in recent days Iran's state television has repeatedly shown images of the crashed drone with revolutionary and heroic music playing in the background.

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