Iran says will not return US drone

December 11, 2011 - 2:25 AM
Mideast Iran US 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 the chief of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, right, listens to an unidentified colonel, in an undisclosed location, Iran. (AP Photo/Sepahnews) EDS NOTE: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS HAS NO WAY OF INDEPENDENTLY VERIFYING THE CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE.

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — A senior commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard says his country will not return a U.S. surveillance drone captured by its armed forces.

Deputy head of the Guard Gen. Hossein Salami said Sunday in remarks broadcast on state television that the violation of Iran's airspace by the U.S. drone is a "hostile act" and warned of a "bigger" response. But he didn't elaborate on what Iran might do.

Iranian television broadcast video Thursday of Iranian military officials inspecting what it identified as the RQ-170 Sentinel drone, and offered the first evidence that Tehran had captured the aircraft.

Iranian state radio has said the unmanned aircraft was detected over the eastern town of Kashmar, some 140 miles (225 kilometers) from the border with Afghanistan. U.S. officials have acknowledged losing the drone.