Officials from Russia and China – which have close trade ties with Iran, and oppose Western efforts to increase pressure – "have asked for permission to inspect the US spy drone," Iranian media reported.
Nicknamed the "Beast of Kandahar" after it was first spotted in 2009 on an airport runway in Kandahar, Afghanistan, the drone was used to monitor Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan, undetected, before the raid to kill the Al Qaeda leader.
The Iranian video shows Hajizadeh and another Guard officer examining the craft with its radar-evading curves and wingspan which resembles the larger B-2 stealth bomber. It was placed on a platform with banners hiding the undercarriage and landing gear. The banners – fixed to either wing with clear packing tape – read: "The US can't mess with us," and "We'll crush America underfoot."
It was not clear how Iran acquired the drone intact. Some US experts dismiss the possibility that Iran could hack and then takeover the drone's controls, as Iran claims. And yet similar disruptions have proven possible in other battlefields, notably with the Iran-backed Hezbollah militia in Lebanon and drones from Israel.