In the case of the Sentinel, after initially saying only that a drone had been lost near the Afghan-Iran border, American officials eventually confirmed it had been monitoring Iran's military and nuclear facilities. Washington asked for it back but Iran refused, and instead released photos of Iranian officials studying the aircraft.
The U.S and its allies believe Iran is pursuing a nuclear weapon. Iran denies the charge, saying its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes only, such as power generation and cancer treatment.
Iran meanwhile, has claimed advanced in drone technology.
In November, Iranian media reported that the country had produced a domestically-made drone capable of hovering. Earlier, Iran said it obtained images of sensitive Israeli bases taken by a drone that was launched by Lebanon's Hezbollah and downed by Israel.
Iran also claimed other drones made dozens of apparently undetected flights into Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years. Israel has rejected the Iranian assertions.
Murphy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
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