Iran Claims US Drones Were Spying On Oil Tankers

Patrick Frye

For the U.S. drones Iran is now claiming that United States was spying on Iranian oil tankers in the Persian Gulf off of Iran's shores. Iran's oil tankers on Kharg Island handle most of Iran's crude oil exports and thus the U.S drone was targeted by US-25's because the U.S. drone was purportedly violating Iran's airspace. Washington is claiming otherwise, saying that the Iranian warplanes opened fire--missing--over international waters.

"The drone was flying near Kharg Island and our understanding is that ... it was gathering economic information and intelligence on Kharg Island and oil tankers (in the area)," Amir Ali Hajizadeh, a brigadier general in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was quoted as saying by CNBC. "The Islamic Republic of Iran has some red lines that the Americans should understand and respect. If this is repeated, we will definitely react."

At the center of the dispute is Iran's nuclear energy research program, which has earned Iran sanctions by the United States, the European Union, and other political bodies. It is widely believed by intelligence organizations that Iran is using its nuclear energy research to develop nuclear weapons.

If diplomacy talks fail, the United States and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran, although there is a lack of agreement on how this should take place. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was publicly snubbed by Obama back in September, with the Obama administration going so far as to claim a meeting had never been scheduled. Netanyahu went on the road saying otherwise to the US public via talk shows. He also supported Mitt Romney, who he is supposedly friends with, which further alienated the Obama administration. But now that Obama won re-election Netanyahu is reportedly trying to repair Israel's relationship with Obama.

Mr. Netanyahu previously had this to say about the urgency of forming a solid plan:

"[Iran is] six months away from being about 90 percent of having the rich uranium for an atom bomb. I think that you have to place that red line before them now, before it’s too late."