A U.S.?surveillance drone was captured by Iranian armed forces and the government is refusing to give it back.
Gen. Hossein Salami, deputy head of the Guard, said in remarks broadcast on state television that the violation of Iran’s airspace by the
U.S. drone was a “hostile act” and warned of a “bigger” response. He did not elaborate on what Tehran might do.
“No one returns the symbol of aggression to the party that sought secret and vital intelligence related to the national security of a country,” Salami said.
Salami called its capture a victory for Iran and a defeat for the U.S. in a complicated intelligence and technological battle.
American officials have said that U.S. intelligence assessments indicate that Iran neither shot the drone down, nor used electronic or cybertechnology to force it from the sky. They contend the drone malfunctioned. The officials had spoken anonymously in order to discuss the classified program.
U.S. officials don’t appear to be overly concerned that Iran has their drone – or at least that’s what they are saying publicly. As a former official warned: “It was never a matter of whether we were going to lose one but when.”
For now, however, the Iranians are bathing in national pride in their belief that they finally have got “one up” on the enemy.
Time will tell.