Iran claims to have downed US RQ-170 unmanned aircraft

Iran said Dec. 4 that it shot down a U.S. high-altitude, RQ-170 stealth unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) on its eastern border, but U.S. officials disputed the claim, stating that the lost craft instead might be an unmanned reconnaissance aircraft that went off course and crashed in the area last week, reports The Wall Street Journal.

U.S. and NATO officials declined to say what type of American UAV had disappeared, and U.S. officials added that there was no indication that the missing aircraft had been shot down by the Iranians.

"The operators of the UAV lost control of the aircraft and had been working to determine its status," NATO's International Security Assistance Force said in a statement.

Iran claimed to have downed U.S. drones in January in the Persian Gulf and in July near the city of Qom, but never produced any evidence to validate such claims.

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