Official: Iran has evidence it captured U.S. drone

By Ali Akbar Dareini

Associated Press

Published: Wednesday, Dec. 5 2012 10:02 a.m. MST

If true, the seizure of the ScanEagle drone would be the third reported incident involving Iran and U.S. drones in the past two years.

Last month, Iran claimed that a U.S. drone violated its airspace. The Pentagon said the unmanned Predator aircraft came under fire at least twice but was not hit, and that the drone was over international waters.

In late 2011, Iran claimed it brought down a CIA spy drone after it entered Iranian airspace from its eastern borders with Afghanistan and Pakistan. The RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which is equipped with stealth technology, was captured almost intact. Tehran later said it recovered data from the drone.

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.

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