Conflict & Justice

Iran: China, Russia eager to take a peek at our US spy drone


Iranians walk past a replica of the captured US RQ-170 drone which is on display next to the Azadi, or “Freedom” tower during the 33rd anniversary of the Islamic revolution in Tehran on Feb 11.



Iran claims Russia and China would very much like a peek at a downed US Air Force aerial drone that is in Tehran's possession, according to Iranian media cited by The Associated Press.

The RQ-170 drone was captured on Dec 4. Officials in Tehran announced that they intended to study the drone by reverse engineering it, according to Iran’s Press TV.

More from GlobalPost: The Drone Wars

According to the AP, Fars quoted Ahmad Karimpour, an advisor to the defense minister, as saying that China and Russia had been most aggressive of of all the countries seeking information about the downed drone.

Manufactured by Lockheed Martin, the drones’ capabilities are rarely openly discussed by US officials but they are believed to have stealth reconnaissance capabilities. Drone intelligence was used in the effort to kill Osama bin Laden, according to The Atlantic.

According to the AP, US officials say reverse engineering the drone or extracting data will be difficult due to preventative measures taken before deploying drones in hostile territory.

More from GlobalPost: Economic growth pulls Rwandans out of poverty

CNN reported in December that Iran had refused US requests to return the drone.

"No nation welcomes other countries' spy drones in its territory, and no one sends back the spying equipment and its information back to the country of origin," General Hossein Salami, deputy commander of the armed forces, was quoted as saying.