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Watch: Iran displays US drone it 'electronically' captured

US officials have dismissed claims that Iran managed to guide the unmanned surveillance aircraft down electronically and say the televised footage could be of a model.

Image: YouTube

IRANIAN AUTHORITIES have been displaying a US drone which came down over the country in recent days.

The US military said it had lost control of a Sentinel drone earlier this week, but US officials have dismissed Iran’s claims that the aircraft was deliberately brought down in an electronic attack and guided to the ground.

Iranian television has been broadcasting footage of the captured drone and a Pentagon spokesperson said in response that US officials are examining the footage.

However, officials told ABC News yesterday that the craft on display was likely a model and not a working drone. They later conceded that the drone may have been reconstructed from parts as it was unlikely to have landed intact.

(Video via IranianNationalism)

Unmanned drones like the Sentinel are used to gather surveillance, while others (such as the Predator drone) have been used for US missile attacks on terrorist targets in Pakistan. A Sentinel was used to watch Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound as the raid which killed him was underway.

In accessing a drone, the Iranians have the opportunity to examine its technical components and surveillance  tools including a highly-advanced radar. They could also potentially hack into the drone’s database, however it’s not clear what, if any, data could be recovered.

Iran has provided correspondence to the Swiss ambassador in Tehran demanding an explanation and expressing the state’s protest over the “violation of all international rules and regulations” by the US authorities, according to Iranian state media IRIB.

Switzerland acts as the intermediary for US and Iran relations as the states have no direct communication.

Virtual embassy

Yesterday, the US announced the opening of its online ‘virtual’ embassy to Iran for citizens to access information such as visa advice. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the embassy “is a platform for us to communicate with each other – openly and without fear – about the United States, about our policies, our culture and the American people.”

The spokesperson for Iran’s foreign ministry Ramin Mehmanparast was America’s way of admitting it made a mistake in cutting ties with Iran, but that the online project was no remedy for that mistake.

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