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      Iran Hints At Deal on US Drone

      General says U.S. can make up for its "aggressive move" with some correct political measures.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 12/12/2011, 3:25 PM

      RQ-170 Drone
      RQ-170 Drone
      US DOD Photo

      A senior commander from Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) said Sunday that his country will not return an American surveillance drone captured by Iranian armed forces. However, he also indicated willingness to reach a deal, according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

      In remarks broadcast on Iranian state television, General Hossein Salami said the violation of Iranian airspace by the U.S. unmanned drone was a "hostile act."

      "The U.S. can, however, compensate for this aggressive move by some correct [political] measures," Salami added.

      Salami did not give further details on how the United States could compensate Iran.

      Iranian television broadcast footage Thursday of Iranian military officials inspecting what they identified as a RQ-170 Sentinel drone, which they said was detected in Iranian airspace some 225 kilometers from the border with Afghanistan.

      U.S. authorities have acknowledged losing the drone. Fox news reported that President Barack Obama was presented with options for destroying or recovering the drone but nixed them because they could be seen as acts of war. Republican presidential hopeful Rick Perry blamed Obama for making the worst possible decision in the matter.

      The IRGC says that the RQ-170 drone was on a spying mission in Iran and was brought down by the IRGC cyber division near the city of Kashmar. "We ourselves are second in the world in drone technology and know quite well how these drones work and what for," Salami said.