Iranian Jet Threatens Predator in International Airspace

An Iranian F-4 fighter unsuccessfully tried this week to intercept an unarmed American MQ-1 Predator remotely piloted aircraft over international waters in the Arabian Gulf, said Pentagon Press Secretary George Little on Thursday. The incident occurred on March 12 when the Predator was conducting a routine surveillance flight and the Iranians sent the F-4 to intercept it. “The closest point of approach between these aircraft was approximately 16 miles,” said Little. The Iranian jet broke off the pursuit after a verbal warning from two US military aircraft escorting the Predator. “All US aircraft remained over international waters at all times,” said Little. Back in November, an Iranian Su-25 fired on a Predator that was also flying in international airspace above the gulf, but missed. The US government said at the time these surveillance missions would continue. (AFPS report by Jim Garamone)