Iran 'Gifts' Russia with Copy of US Drone
Iran has presented Russia with a gift of an exact copy of an advanced US spy drone.
The UK's Guardian newspaper has reported the copy of the US ScanEagle drone was given to Russia at a meeting between the two countries' air force commanders earlier this week in Tehran.
Last month, Iran's Revolutionary Guard unveiled the "Yasseer" - an advanced reconnaissance drone - which AFP reported at the time strongly resembled the US ScanEagle that Iran claimed to have captured in late 2012.
The drone is reportedly able to fly for eight hours with a range of 200 kilometers (124 miles) and reach an altitude of 4,500 meters (15,000 feet).
The newspaper quotes a Fars media report that the gift was not only proof that Iran had downed the advanced drone last year, but that the regime had also begun mass producing it.
"The drone built by the Islamic republic's Revolutionary Guards is a symbol of the technical capabilities of the Islamic Iran and today we presented a real model of it as a gift to Russian air force …and the Russian people," Farzad Esmayeeli, a Revolutionary Guards air defense commander said to Viktor Bondarev, Russia's air force chief.
Iranian media reports said the pair spoke on a range of air defense issues.
Over the past few years, Iran has claimed to have captured several American drones after they entered Iranian airspace over the Persian Gulf.