Video footage supposedly filmed by a downed U.S. drone has been released by Iran.
The black and white recording shows aerial views near Kandahar Airfield in southern Afghanistan, claims a man identified as Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, who narrates a section of the footage.
Iranian state-run television broadcast the clip on Wednesday evening to promote the country’s advances in drone technology. The report boasted that the nation’s scientists were able to decode the film, which they claim had been taken from an RQ-170 Sentinel drone disabled through electronic interference in eastern Iran in December 2011. The footage was subsequently published on Youtube.
“This aircraft has carried out many operations in the countries around Iran,” says Hajizadeh, the commander of the Iranian airspace division, according to CNN.
“We were able to definitively access the data of the drone, once we brought it down,” he adds. “After we decrypted the data … we realized that this aircraft had made a lot of flights inside regional countries.”
Iran claims to have downed the unmanned surveillance device on Dec. 4, 2011, near Kashmar in the country’s northeast, some 225 km (140 miles) from the Afghan border. U.S. officials acknowledged that a drone was missing at the time and President Barack Obama even asked the Iranian authorities to return it.
“We aren’t able to confirm the authenticity of the video,” a spokesman from the Department of Defense told Fox News. “As you know, we don’t provide details regarding matters of intelligence.”
News organizations have similarly struggled to independently authenticate the film, which at times seems to show the inside of a U.S. military base. Iran has recently claimed advances in drone technology on the back of a number of U.S. and Israeli drones that it says were seized while flying over Iranian territory, reports the Guardian.