Iran Airs Footage It Says Is From Captured US Drone

West hikes sanctions against Tehran
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 7, 2013 7:15 AM CST
Iran Airs Footage It Says Is From Captured US Drone
This undated image taken from video broadcast on Iranian state television purports to show a US drone landing in Kandahar, Afghanistan.   (AP Photo/Iranian state TV via AP video)

Iranian TV has unveiled footage it says came from a US drone it obtained in 2011, Reuters reports. The footage shows a US base in Afghanistan, among other material, officials say. "After we decrypted the data ... we realized that this aircraft had made a lot of flights inside regional countries and was directing much fighting in Pakistan," said an Iranian commander who narrated the footage. Neither Reuters nor CNN have been able to confirm the footage's authenticity.

But it comes at a time when drones are much in the news, the Atlantic Wire notes, between John Brennan's CIA confirmation hearings today and controversy over targeting US citizens. Meanwhile, the US and other Western countries are bolstering sanctions against Tehran, where commerce has been flourishing despite existing sanctions, the New York Times reports. The new measures, which an Obama administration official calls "a significant turning of the screw," push Iran toward a barter-like system for its oil exports. They also come as the country's supreme leader rejected direct nuclear talks with the US. (More Iran stories.)

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