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Wednesday 14 December 2011

'Technical problems, not Iran, downed drone'

'Technical problems, not Iran, downed drone'

US lawmaker denies Iran's claims that it brought down spy plane; downplays danger of Tehran "reverse-engineering" technology.

    The US on Tuesday said that the American unmanned spy plane which fell into Iranian hands earlier this month went down because of "technical" problems, and was not brought down by the Iranians, as Tehran has claimed.

Iran announced on Dec. 4 it had downed the drone in the eastern part of the country, near Afghanistan. It has since shown the plane on television and said it is close to cracking its technological secrets.

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"I will say without hesitation that this is not something that anyone had anything to do with coming down with, other than a technical problem," US House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers was quoted as saying by AFP.

Rogers stated that, while "it's not a good day for the United States" when a hostile nation obtains US technology, the threat of Iran "reverse-engineering" the technology and mass producing the drone, as it has promised, does not pose that great a threat to the US.

""The good news is, while they're spending time re-engineering, we will be spending time engineering, and that's the biggest difference," Rogers stated.

"They're very proud that they're going to re-engineer this, and I hope they spend five, six, seven, eight years doing that, that would be great, because we'll be long past that," he added.

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