Former Vice President Dick Cheney has faulted President Barack Obama for requesting the return of an unmanned U.S. spy plane downed in Iran. Cheney said in an interview with CNN News that the United States should have taken military action to destroy the plane before the Iranians could gather critical intelligence and technological data from it.
"The right response would have been to go in immediately after it had gone down and destroy it," Cheney said. "You can do that from the air and, in effect, make it impossible for them to benefit from having captured that drone," said George W. Bush's Vice President, President Obama "asked nicely for them to return it, and they aren't going to," said Cheney, who predicted the Iranians will eventually send the drone back "in pieces after they've gotten all the intelligence they can out of it." Obama announced the request during a joint news conference with Iraq's prime minister, Nuri al-Maliki at the White House on Monday. "We have asked for it back," he said of the unmanned reconnaissance and surveillance aircraft. "We'll see how the Iranians respond."
Neither secretary of Defense Leon Panetta nor Secretary of State Hillary Clinton U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta are optimistic about getting the plane back intact, the Daily Mail of London reported. Secretary Clinton spoke at the U.S. State Department at a news conference with British Foreign Secretary William Hague. "We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment as we would in any situation to any government around the world," said Clinton. "Given Iran's behavior to date, we do not expect them to comply but we are dealing with all of these provocations and concerning actions taken by Iran in close concert with our closest allies and partners." Clinton warned that "the path that Iran seems to be going down is a dangerous one for themselves and the region." The British foreign secretary agreed.
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