"But when you have a fairly serious commander that runs their aerospace division, and he goes into these specific details – not these large, overreaching triumphant [declarations] – he's talking about real things ... that's a message to the [US] government, 'Hey, we caught you.’"
Hajizadeh said he provided "four cues ... to let the Americans know how deep we could penetrate into [the intelligence systems and devices of] this drone," according to Fars News, which is linked to the Revolutionary Guard.
The Iranian general laid out specific details of the drone's maintenance and mission history: Work was done in California on Oct. 16, 2010, and the drone flew a mission from Kandahar, Afghanistan, on Nov. 18, 2010, he said. Technical problems brought the drone back in Dec. 2010 to Los Angeles – close to the Lockheed Martin Skunk Works location at Palmdale, Calif., where the drone was made.
Hajizadeh also stated that two weeks prior to the assassination raid on the bin Laden compound in May 2, 2011, the drone had flown a mission "right on top of his hiding spot," and had made other flights into Pakistani airspace.
Tehran also renewed previous claims that it would reverse-engineer the drone and produce its own copy.