Iran claims it can replicate captured CIA drone
This photo released on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, claims to show US RQ-170 Sentinel drone which Tehran says its forces downed earlier this week, as an unidentified colonel, right, talks to the chief of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, in an undisclosed location, Iran. (AP / Sepahnews)
Published Wednesday, December 12, 2012 6:17AM EST
TEHRAN, Iran -- A senior Iranian lawmaker says Tehran can now manufacture a copy of an advanced CIA spy drone captured last year.
Avaz Heidarpour, who sits on parliament's national security committee, says experts have reverse-engineered the RQ-170 Sentinel craft and Iran now is capable of launching a production line for the unmanned aircraft.
His remarks were posted on the parliament's website, icana.ir, on Wednesday.
Iranian officials frequently announce technological and military breakthroughs, most of which are impossible to confirm independently.
Heidarpour's comment comes two days after Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it decoded all data from the drone that went down in December 2011 near Iran's eastern border with Afghanistan.
Last week, the Guard claimed it captured another U.S. drone after it entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.