On Thursday, Iranian state television displayed the downed U.S. surveillance drone that fell into Iranian territory last weekend.
The state television report displayed images of the intact drone telling domestic viewers that the drone was “equipped with highly advanced surveillance, data gathering, electronic communication and radar systems.”
The Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps appeared in the televised segment to explain how Iran brought the high-tech drone down.
“After it entered the Eastern parts of the country, this aircraft fell into the trap of our armed forces and was downed in Iran with minimum damage,” General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said.
“Military experts are well aware of how precious the technological information of this drone is,” he added.
U.S. experts have examined the images displayed on Iranian television and Pentagon officials have confirmed that the drone is indeed the downed U.S. RQ170 Stealth Sentinel drone that went missing last week along Afghanistan’s extensive border with Iran.
On Sunday, Iranian news agencies reported that Iranian military forces brought down the spy drone, but U.S. officials denied the claims, blaming the downing of one of its most advanced surveillance drones on technical issues.
One U.S. official spoke to NBC News telling the news agency on Monday that the drone took a “hard turn” while flying along Afghanistan's northwestern border.
“The spy drone, which was downed with little damage, was seized by the Iranian armed forces,” the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the news agency.
Officials have expressed concern that Iran, a U.S. foe, could use the intact drone to extract sensitive U.S. intelligence and reverse engineer.
The semi-official Fars news agency said that the loss of the U.S. drone has been “so heavy that U.S. officials do not still want to accept that Iran brought down the plane by a cyber attack” and is instead focusing explanations on technical failures.
Iran claims to have shot down more than a dozen drones over the last several years.
See the downed drone on display below: