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US Tells Iran, 'Talk To The Hand'

Written by Luke Burgess
Posted September 8, 2005

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Iran offered to send the United States 20 million barrels of crude oil. Not because they're good sports. The offer was conditional. Iran wanted Washington to waive trade sanctions. Washington denied.

Iran's offer mirrors the goodwill that the US displayed after an earthquake flattened the southeastern Iranian city of Bam in 2003, killing more than 26,000 people.

The United States flew in emergency supplies, which were gratefully unloaded at an Iranian airport. However, the gesture did not lead to improved relations.

The US and Iran have had no diplomatic relations since 1979 when militants stormed the US Embassy in Tehran and occupants hostage. Since that time Washington has held a variety of sanctions on Iran.

Currently the United States is accusing Iran of sponsoring terrorism as well as secretly trying to build nuclear bombs.

The United States uses just over 20 million barrels of oil per day. So that amount would not make much of a difference. Maybe we'd reconsider if they offered 20 billion barrels. Ha! That'd be the day.

UAVs Over New Orleans

Last week I wrote to you regarding the possibility of blimps being used for homeland security purposes.

While there is no such formal proposal just as of yet, UAVs (or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) are being utilized for reconnaissance over hurricane-plundered New Orleans.

Ten UAVs have been flying over New Orleans this week relaying photos to Air Force officials of the devastation below.

The original mission for the UAVs was to help in the search for survivors. But now the planes are being mainly used to assess damage to oil and gas distribution, dikes, levees and other aspects of the region's infrastructure.

The US military and intelligence services has used a UAV known as the Predator since the mid-90s. The Predator series of UAVs can be used for surveillance and reconnaissance missions. Some Predators even have the ability to fire missiles.

The UAVs that are being used over the Big Easy are battery-powered and can stay aloft for two hours. They are circling at a low altitude (roughly 500-1,000 ft) while snapping pictures of the destruction below.

UAVs such as these have been previously employed by Border Patrol officials to scan for illegal immigrants darting across southwestern deserts from Mexico.

- Luke Burgess
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