It is a precious prize for the Islamic Republic. State television has been showing pictures of a US drone Iran says it forced down near the Afghan border.
While Washington is saying little, the US press is claiming the aircraft was part of a secret American surveillance mission targeting Iran’s nuclear sites.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has reportedly summoned the Swiss ambassador, representing US interests in Iran, to condemn what it says was a violation of airspace.
A huge explosion at a military base near Tehran last month also raised suspicions that foreign intelligence services could be operating in Iran.
Some 17 Revolutionary Guards were said to have died, including the head of the elite force’s missile programme. Iran said the blast was caused by an accident.
It insists its nuclear programme is peaceful. But a UN nuclear watchdog report last month fuelled Western concerns that Iran is seeking to develop the capabilities needed to make atomic weapons.
Iran displays captured US drone