Iran Now Claims It Pulled Spy Data From Drone

Airs footage of drone, but US still denies it was captured
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 5, 2012 7:28 AM CST
Iran Now Claims It Pulled Spy Data From Drone
This image taken from the Iranian state TV's Arabic-language channel Al-Alam shows what they purport to be an intact ScanEagle drone aircraft put on display Dec. 4, 2012.   (AP Photo / Al-Alam TV)

Fresh claims from Iran, and more denial from the US: Iran today announced it has "fully extracted" data from the drone it reports having captured, and says that data proves the drone was spying on Iranian military and petroleum terminals where the country transfers its oil, Reuters reports. In a further attempt to back up its claims, Tehran yesterday aired 11 minutes of footage of military officials inspecting what it claims is the ScanEagle drone, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The US Navy continues to issue denials: "We have seen the [Iranian] footage. There is nothing we see that corroborates the claims," says a spokesperson. The Journal notes there is the possibility Iran somehow obtained the ScanEagle through another channel and chose to unveil it now as a publicity play. It's a much lower-tech drone than some of the other models used, and more than 1,600 of them have been sold to various governments. The US has recently confirmed stepped-up surveillance of Iran, but says drones stay beyond the country's borders. (More Iran stories.)

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