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Iranian Military Cyber Experts Decodes US Drone Intel

Senior Iranian military officials announced that the country's experts have decoded the intelligence gathering system and memory hard discs of the United States' highly advanced RQ-170 Sentinel stealth aircraft that was downed by Iran in December after violating the country's airspace.(Reported FNA)

Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Forces Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh revealed some data taken from the aircraft's intelligence system to discourage his counterparts in Pentagon who had alleged that Iranians would not succeed in decoding the spy drone's memory and intelligence devices.

"This plane is seen as a national capital for us and our words should not disclose all the information that we have very easily."

"Yet, I provide four cues in here to let the Americans know how deep we could penetrate into (the intelligence systems and devices of) this drone," he added.

Hajizadeh stated that the drone parts had been transferred to California for technical works in October 2010, adding that the drone was later transferred to Kandahar, Afghanistan in November 2010 and had a flight in there.

The commander said that the drone had experienced some technical flaws in its Kandahar flight in November, but the US experts failed resolve the problems at the time.

Hajizadeh added that the RQ-170 was then sent back to an airfield near Los Angeles in December 2010 for tests on its censors and parts, adding that the drone had a number of test flights in there.

As a forth cue to prove Iran's access to the drone's hidden memory, the commander mentioned that the spy drone's memory device has revealed that it had flown over Al-Qaeda Leader Osama bin Laden's hideout in Pakistan two weeks before his death.

"Had we not accessed the plane's soft wares and hard discs, we wouldn't have been able to achieve these facts," Hajizadeh said, reiterating that Iran's military experts are in full command of the drone intel and hold a good knowledge of the drone parts and programs.

The unmanned surveillance plane lost by the United States in Iran was a stealth aircraft being used for secret missions by the CIA.

The aircraft is among the highly sensitive surveillance platform in the CIA's fleet that was shaped and designed to evade enemy defenses.

The drone is the first such loss by the US.

The RQ-170 has special coatings and a batwing shape designed to help it penetrate other nations' air defenses undetected. The existence of the aircraft, which is made by Lockheed Martin, has been known since 2009, when a model was photographed at the main US airfield in Kandahar, Afghanistan.

The revelation came after Russia and China asked Tehran to provide them with information on the capture US drone.

Ahmad Karimpour, an adviser to Iran's defense minister, said on Friday that Tehran has received requests from many countries for information on the RQ-170 Sentinel, but Moscow and Beijing have been most aggressive in their pursuit of details on the drone.