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US to Iran: Give Us Back Our Drone, Please

But Obama, Clinton don't seem to be holding their breath
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2011 1:58 AM CST
Updated Dec 13, 2011 7:15 AM CST
US to Iran: Give Us Back Our Drone, Please
The US RQ-170 Sentinel drone, parked in Tehran.   (AP Photo/Sepahnews)

(Newser) – Red-faced American officials have requested that Iran return a crashed US drone—the one apparently paraded before Iranians and stripped of whatever secrets it was carrying. "We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," said President Obama in the first confirmation that the US has requested the craft's return. Tehran claims the RQ-170 Sentinel was brought down by a savvy cyber attack; Washington says it crashed due to a malfunction, notes the BBC. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton isn't optimistic about the drone's return. "We are very clearly making known our concerns. We submitted a formal request for the return of our lost equipment, as we would in any situation," she said. "Given Iran's behavior to date, we do not expect them to reply."

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Iran says the craft was traveling 155 miles inside its airspace, and has sent a letter of protest to the United Nations complaining of America's "provocative and secret actions." US officials are worried that Iran may be able to determine the chemical composition of the drone's radar-deflecting paint, or copy its engine, control systems, and cameras. (Read more Iran stories.)

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