Iran Demands Afghan Bases Not Be Used for Spy Flights Over Iran

Iran told Afghanistan that future US drone flights launched from Afghan bases would be considered "an unfriendly act"

Iran’s foreign minister on Thursday demanded that Afghanistan stop allowing the U.S. to launch spy drones from Afghan bases to be flown over Iranian airspace, or else it will be received as a threatening act.

“We have demanded the government of Afghanistan study the case seriously and not allow such an incident to happen anymore, otherwise it will be seen as an unfriendly act,” Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi said, referring to the recent American surveillance drone recovered after a crash in Iran.

A day prior to Iran’s demand, U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta vowed to continue the spy operations over Iranian airspace, saying the operations were part of U.S. efforts to defend both Afghanistan and America and involve “important intelligence operations which we will continue to pursue.”

Earlier in the week, Iran had summoned an Afghan envoy to protest the U.S. drone operations, but Afghan President Hamid Karzai said Afghanistan doesn’t want to be involved in any “adversarial relations” between the U.S. and Iran.

 

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Author: John Glaser

John Glaser writes for Antiwar.com.