It’s finders keepers for Iran as its Revolutionary Guard announced that they do not have any plans of returning a U.S. surveillance drone that their armed forces captured.
Iran’s military earlier said that they have managed to shoot down a reconnaissance drone in the eastern part of the country, about 140 miles from the border with Afghanistan. The drone was shot down for violating Iranian airspace, authorities said.
Iranian officials reported on state television:
“Iran’s military has downed an intruding RQ-170 American drone in Eastern Iran. The spy drone, which has been downed with little damage, was seized by the Iranian armed forces.”
In announcing that they are not returning the drone, Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Guard, said:
“No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country. Iran is among the few countries that possesses the most modern technology in the field of pilotless drones. The technology gap between Iran and the U.S. is not much.”
Though acknowledging that they lost the drone, American officials said that Iran did not shoot down the drone. It simply malfunctioned.
Salami, despite refusing to provide details on how they captured the drone, added:
“A party that wins in an intelligence battle doesn’t reveal its methods. We can’t elaborate on the methods we employed to intercept, control, discover and bring down the pilotless plane.”
Meanwhile, Iran also revealed that they are in the final stages of decoding data from the drone and that any information will be used by the country to file a lawsuit against the U.S. for “invasion” by an unmanned aircraft.
So, for now, it’s finders keepers. Do you think Iran took down the drone or it indeed malfunctioned as US contends?