WASHINGTON (Feb. 13) - The United States has been flying surveillance drones over Iran since last year to look for evidence of nuclear weapons programs and probe air defenses, The Washington Post reported Sunday.
Citing three U.S. officials with knowledge of the effort, the Post said the small, pilotless planes use radar, video, still photography and air filters designed to pick up traces of nuclear activity to gather details not accessible by satellites.
The paper quoted unidentified Iranian, European and
It reported that one U.S. official acknowledged that drones were being used but said the Iranian complaint focused on manned military aircraft overflights, which the United States denied.
The drones were first spotted by dozens of Iranian civilians in late December.
The sightings set off a flurry of local newspaper stories about whether the country was being visited by UFOs.
Word of the drones comes on the heels of stepped-up calls by the
Bush administration for
Iranians living along the
It noted that many Iranian officers were trained more than 25
years ago in the
The Post quoted an unidentified senior Iranian official as saying
The Iranian action to hold back is considered a major policy
decision and reflects
The Post said