Iranian authorities say that they shot down a US drone that entered their airspace last week. The unmanned RQ170 drone was reportedly shot down, suffering minor damage. It is now in the hands of the Iranian military, who will doubtless be studying it intently.
The US has acknowledged that it lost contact with a drone in Afghanistan last week, and says that it might be that this drone subsequently crossed into Iranian territory and is the one that was shot down. However, this has not been confirmed. The US is likely to insist that any incursion into Iranian airspace was entirely accidental.
This is not the first time that Iran has claimed to have shot down an unmanned US drone. The Tehran government claimed earlier in the year to have shot down two such devices. The US and Iran are currently locked in an increasingly bitter dispute over the latter’s allegedly nuclear weapons program.