Iran General: We're Not Returning Drone

US officials won't say whether drone shown on TV is American

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Dec 11, 2011 9:28 AM CST

(Newser) – Iran has no plans to give back the US drone it claims to have, according to top general Hossein Salami. "No nation welcomes other countries' spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin," Salami said, according to a Fars news agency report picked up by CNN. "It makes no difference where this drone originated and which group or country sent it to invade our air space. This was an act of invasion and belligerence."

Iran showed the purported RQ-170 drone on TV last week, but US officials have not confirmed the aircraft shown is the one the US is missing. One US official says there's no reason to believe the drone shown on video is fake. But another points out that it was apparently intact, odd since it supposedly crashed. If it's truly in good condition, an aviation analyst points out, it likely experienced a system failure, rather than being shot down. Salami also claimed Iran had downed drones before, but did not announce those occurrences at the time.

Iran shows off what it says is a US drone in this screenshot from its state-run TV station.
Iran shows off what it says is a US drone in this screenshot from its state-run TV station.   (YouTube)
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