Photograph by Atta Kenare/AFP/Getty Images.
Iran says it has managed to reverse-engineer the U.S. drone it captured last year and is now building copies, reports the Tehran Times. A senior military official told local media that Iran has managed to “crack the codes” of the drone in what seems to be a response to the Pentagon that had publicly expressed doubts Iran could do anything with the intelligence gathering system, notes CNN. U.S. officials had already said the drone was lost but insisted that it had safeguards in place to limit its intelligence value if captured over hostile territory.
Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, chief of the aerospace division of the Revolutionary Guards, told state television that the drone is a “national asset” so he couldn’t reveal everything officials know, but he gave up a few clues “to let the Americans know how deep we could penetrate into the intelligence systems and devices of the drone.” Among other things, he specified the drone flew over Osama Bin Laden’s compound two weeks before he was killed, reports the Associated Press.
Sen. Joe Lieberman, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee expressed doubts over Tehran’s claims. “There's a history here of Iranian bluster, particularly now when they're on the defensive because of our economic sanctions against them,” Lieberman said, according to Reuters.