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Iran Says It Has Copied a Captured U.S. Drone — and the Ayatollah Even Tweeted a Photo


"Our engineers succeeded in breaking the drone's secrets and copying them. It will soon take a test flight."

Iran claimed Sunday it made good on its promise and has copied a United States drone it captured in December 2011 — and state television broadcasted images that allegedly show the drone copy, according to Agence France Presse, noted Yahoo News.

Tehran captured the U.S. RQ-170 Sentinel oven Iranian airspace, apparently spying on the country's nuclear sites, Yahoo News added, citing U.S. media reports.

The Iranian TV broadcast showed supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's visit to the Revolutionary Guards air wing exhibition on Iran's military advances, of which drones and ballistic missiles were highlighted — and footage showed two nearly identical drones.

He even tweeted a photo:

Image source: Twitter via Image source: Twitter via The Gateway Pundit

"This drone is very important for reconnaissance missions," Khamenei said, standing in front of the alleged Iranian copy of the American drone.

"Our engineers succeeded in breaking the drone's secrets and copying them. It will soon take a test flight," an officer said in the footage.

Here's a YouTube clip of what appears to be the Iranian TV broadcast of the alleged drone copy:

More from Yahoo News:

Iran said it had taken control of the ultra hi-tech drone and forced it down in the desert where it was recovered nearly intact.

Washington said it had lost control of the aircraft.

At the time, U.S. military officials tried to play the incident down, saying Iran did not have the technology to decipher its secrets, and President Barack Obama asked the Islamic republic to return the Sentinel.

Iran has been working to develop a significant drone program of its own, and some of its unmanned aircraft have a range of hundreds of miles and are armed with missiles.

The state broadcaster also showed images that the commentary said had been recorded by an Iranian drone above a U.S. aircraft carrier in the Gulf.

In the photos, which were relatively clear, it was possible to see American personnel working on planes and helicopters aboard the vessel.

In December 2011, Obama said of the drone, “We have asked for it back. We’ll see how the Iranians respond."

Apparently their response was along the lines of he “begs [Iran] to give him back his toy plane.”

“Given Iran’s behavior to date, we do not expect them to comply,” U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said at the time, according to Israel National News. [...] Obama reportedly turned down proposals to try to bomb the drone or retrieve it, fearing such an act would be considered an “act of war.”

Featured image: Iranian leader's website/AFP

(H/T: The Gateway Pundit)

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