In the case of the Sentinel, after initially saying only that a drone had been lost near the Afghan-Iran border, American officials eventually confirmed it had been monitoring Iran‘s military and nuclear facilities. Washington asked for it back, but Iran refused and instead released photos of Iranian officials studying the aircraft.
Iran, meanwhile, has claimed advancements in drone technology.
In November, Iranian media reported that the country had produced a domestically made drone capable of hovering. Earlier, Iran said it had obtained images of sensitive Israeli bases taken by a drone that was launched by Lebanon’s Hezbollah and downed by Israel.
Iran also claimed that other drones had made dozens of apparently undetected flights into Israeli airspace from Lebanon in recent years. Israel has rejected the Iranian assertions.
Brian Murphy reported from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Associated Press writers Cassandra Vinograd in London and Julie Pace in Washington contributed to this report.