U.S. Formally Asks Iran to Return Drone Aircraft

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The Obama administration has formally asked Iran for the return of a U.S. surveillance drone captured by Iranian armed forces last week.

"We have asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," President Barack Obama said during a White House news conference with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, 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."

Iran Recovers Data

Iranian officials say the country is in the final stages of recovering data from the drone.

Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri said the country will use the information from the drone to file a lawsuit against the U.S. for "invasion" by unmanned aircraft.

Sorouri also said Iran has the capability to reproduce the drone through reverse engineering.

Iranian state media claimed the unmanned spy aircraft was detected and brought down over the country's east, near the border with Afghanistan.

U.S. officials have said their intelligence assessments indicate that Iran neither shot the drone down, nor forced it from the sky using electronic technology. They contend that a malfunction caused the drone to go down over Iran.

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