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Iran shrugs off US request to return spy drone

Iran's defense minister, Ahmad Vahidi, shrugged off a U.S. request for the return of an American spy drone captured by Iranian armed forces and instead demands an apology from Washington.

(AP) Tehran - Iran last week identified the drone as the RQ-170 Sentinel and said it was captured over the country's east. The nearly intact drone was displayed on state TV and flaunted as a victory for Iran in a complicated intelligence and technological battle with the U.S.

"Their plane invaded Iran and Iranian forces reacted powerfully," said Defense Minister Gen. Ahmad Vahidi "Now, instead of offering an apology to the Iranian nation, they impudently ask for the return of the plane."

U.S. officials say the unmanned aircraft malfunctioned and was not brought down by Iran. President Barack Obama said Monday the U.S. wants the top-secret aircraft back and has delivered a formal request for the return of the surveillance drone, though it isn't hopeful that Iran will comply.

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Geopolitics

How Ukraine Keeps Getting The West To Flip On Arms Supplies

The open debate on weapon deliveries to Ukraine is highly unusual, but Kyiv has figured out how to use the public moral suasion — and patience — to repeatedly shift the question in its favor. But will it work now for fighter jets?

Photo of a sunset over the USS Nimitz with a man guiding fighter jets ready for takeoff

U.S fighter jets ready for takeoff on the USS Nimitz

Pierre Haski

-Analysis-

PARIS — In what other war have arms deliveries been negotiated so openly in the public sphere?

On Monday, a journalist asked Joe Biden if he plans on supplying F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. He answered “No”. A few hours later, the same question was asked to Emmanuel Macron, about French fighter jets. Macron did not rule it out.

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Visiting Paris on Tuesday, Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksïï Reznikov recalled that a year ago, the United States had refused him ground-air Stinger missiles deliveries. Eleven months later, Washington is delivering heavy tanks, in addition to everything else. The 'no' of yesterday is the green light of tomorrow: this is the lesson that the very pragmatic minister seemed to learn.

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