Iran Says It Has Recovered Data from Captured US Drone

PHOTO: RQ-170 drone

Iranian State Television has broadcast video footage it claims was recovered from the RQ-170 "Sentinel" U.S. surveillance drone that crashed inside Iran in December 2011.

While Iran says it downed the aircraft, U.S. officials say the craft malfunctioned during a CIA mission over Afghanistan and drifted into Iranian territory before crashing.

In the days after the crash, Press TV broadcast video of what appeared to be the drone in good condition. Iranian officials said then they were going to analyze the advanced aircraft.

On Wednesday night Iranian TV broadcast a half-hour narrative of the RQ-170's mission that contained black-and-white video showing a mix of aerial footage and ground footage. The ground footage appears to have been taken as the aircraft was taxiing on an airport runway that may have been its home base at Kandahar, Afghanistan. ABC News has not been able to independently determine whether the footage shown on the Iranian broadcast is real.

In the Iranian broadcast, General Amir Ali Hajizadeh, identified as the chief of the Revolutionary Guard's aerospace division, says "This aircraft is taxiing in Kandahar base and then flying over." He added, "This is a base that the unmanned aircraft RQ170 took off from and never returned to, and the pictures and films are there to prove it."

The broadcast also contained images purportedly taken at the location where the drone crashed. Still photos show parts of the drone aircraft being sling-loaded by a helicopter and other parts being loaded onto a flat bed trailer.

Hajizadeh said Iranian commanders considered the possibility that "the U.S. would either bombard the area or bring commandos to destroy the aircraft." They calculated the probability of such a U.S. move as being 15 percent, and "therefore we were militarily ready...that if they attack, then we have to attack the American bases."

A Pentagon spokesman declined to comment on the authenticity of the videos.

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