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Iran Says No To Returning U.S. Drone, But Hints At Deal

Source: RFE/RL

Asenior commander from Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says his country will not return an American surveillance drone captured by Iranian armed forces but also indicated willingness to reach a deal.

Iran has displayed the captured U.S. drone

In remarks broadcast today on Iranian state television, General Hossein Salami said the violation of Iranian airspace by the U.S. unmanned drone was a "hostile act."

"The U.S. can, however, compensate this aggressive move by some correct [political] measures," Salami added.

Salami did not give further details on how the United States could compensate Iran.

Iranian television on December 8 broadcast footage of Iranian military officials inspecting what they identified as a RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which they said was detected in Iranian airspace some 225 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.

U.S. authorities have acknowledged losing the drone.

The IRGC says that the RQ-170 drone was on a spying mission in Iran and was brought down by the IRGC cyber division -- rather than simply being found -- near the city of Kashmar.

"We ourselves are second in the world in drone technology and know quite well how these drones work and what for," Salami said.

compiled from agency reports

Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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