The Obama administration has delivered a formal request to Iran for the return of a U.S. surveillance drone captured by Iranian armed forces, but said it is not hopeful that Iran will comply.
President Barack Obama said on Monday that the U.S. wants the top-secret aircraft back.
"We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said during a White House news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on Monday.
In an interview broadcast live Monday night on Venezuelan state television, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said nothing to suggest his country would grant the U.S. request.
"The Americans have perhaps decided to give us this spy plane," Ahmadinejad said. "We now have control of this plane."
Speaking through an interpreter, Ahmadinejad said: "There are people here who have been able to control this spy plane, who can surely analyze this plane's system also. ... In any case, now we have this spy plane."
He added, "Very soon, they're going to learn more about the abilities and possibilities of our country."
Text and Images: AP
Image: This photo released on Thursday, Dec. 8, 2011, by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, claims to show the chief of the aerospace division of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, left, listening to an unidentified colonel as he points to US RQ-170 Sentinel drone which Tehran says its forces downed earlier this week. An anti-US banner is placed under the drone. The banner at left shows Gen. Hasan Tehrani Moghaddam, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard commander who was killed in an explosion at an ammunition depot last month.