US drone now Iran's 'property': defense minister
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
An undated picture received on December 8, 2011 shows a member of Iran's revolutionary guard (R) pointing at the U.S. RQ-170 unmanned spy plane as he speaks with Amirali Hajizadeh, a revolutionary guard commander, at an unknown location in Iran. REUTERS PhotoA U.S. drone captured by Iran is now the "property" of the Islamic republic, Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said Tuesday, after a request by US President Barack Obama for its return.
"The American espionage drone is now Iran's property, and our country will decide what steps to take regarding it," Vahidi was quoted as saying by the ISNA news agency.
"Instead of apologizing to the Iranian nation, it (the United States) is brazenly asking for the drone back," Vahidi also said, according to another news agency, Mehr.
Obama on Monday acknowledged that Iran was holding the reconnaissance drone - a bat-winged RQ-170 Sentinel - by saying: "We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond."
Iran last week displayed on state television what it said was the drone. A lawmaker said the Islamic republic was unlocking the aircraft's software and was going to reverse-engineer the drone.