Video footage of a captured US drone, called “one of America’s most valuable intelligence assets”, was shown on Iranian television Thursday evening.
Iran’s Fars News Agency reported that the drone was programmed to destroy its sensitive data in the event of a malfunction, but it failed to do so. “The blow has been so heavy that the US officials do not still want to accept that Iran brought down the plane by a cyberattack,” Fars reports.
Scott Shane of The New York Times explained the significance of the loss of the drone:
The stealth C.I.A. drone that crashed deep inside Iranian territory last week was part of a stepped-up surveillance program that has frequently sent the United States’ most hard-to-detect drone into the country to map suspected nuclear sites, according to foreign officials and American experts who have been briefed on the effort.
Fox News contributor John Bolton speculated on how the country was able to knock the drone out of the sky. “Maybe Iran figured out a way to interfere with the guidance system,” Bolton surmised. “That would be even more troubling but here is no doubt they now have access to very sensitive American technology. That means the Chinese and the Russians will probably have access to it, so it’s bad news.”
Watch Fox News’s report on the downed drone:
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