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Panetta dismisses Iran's US spy drone 'software hacking' claims

Washington , Tue, 24 Apr 2012 ANI

Washington, Apr 24 (ANI): United States Defence Secretary Leon Panetta has dismissed Iran's claims that it had hacked software of an advanced American spy drone that was brought down on its territory last year, and is now building its own copies of the aircraft.

"I can tell you from my experience that I would seriously question their ability to do what they said they've done," The Telegraph quoted Panetta, as saying.

Iran's Revolution Guards Corps Commander Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizadeh yesterday gave details of the aircraft's operational history as proof that their engineers had successfully probed its records.

"Had we not accessed the plane's soft wares and hard discs, we wouldn't have been able to achieve these facts. We have decoded all this [information] and we now have an infinite amount of intelligence," Iran's state-media quoted Hajizadeh, as saying.

According to the paper, Panetta scoffed at Iran's account, but said he could not discuss such a sensitive subject.

"It's, obviously, a classified program. I don't want to get into the particulars," Panetta said.

The unarmed drone was shown on Iranian state television, apparently looking intact, after being brought down 140 miles inside Iranian territory in December.

Iran claimed it brought down the drone through an electronic attack after it took off from an American base inside Afghanistan, but U.S. officials said the aircraft crashed due to a malfunction. (ANI)

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