The Iranian state-owned radio in a mocking tone announced that Iran will give back the U.S. drone to America, but it will be a toy model 1/80th the size of the RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone. The model will be sent to the White House, the announcement said.
Iranian leaders made the decision in response to a request by U.S. President Barack Obama for the return of the drone, which Tehran says was detected and brought down over the eastern part of Iran some 140 miles from the Afghan border by the Revolutionary Guards.
The announcement also stated that the toy model will go on sale in Iran for about 70,000 Iranian rials, about $3.
The state-owned media in Iran also touched on a recent letter sent by Obama to the Iranian supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, clarifying the U.S. position on the Iranian threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, offering for the second time to establish a hotline to avoid any misconception and a possible conflict. This is the second time the Obama administration has requested a hotline between the two countries. After the initial request, the Iranian leaders rejected the idea and announced that the only hotline they will agree to will be the one when they have their vessels present in the Gulf of Mexico.
Iranian political analysts called Obama’s request a verification of the regime’s power and an acknowledgement by the U.S. that Iran has the capability to close the strait.
Esmayeel Kosari , vice chairman of the parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, stated that the Iranian armed forces are not only capable of closing down the Strait of Hormuz but will certainly do so if Iran comes under threat. In an interview with Fars News Agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, Kosari warned that the closure of the strait would paralyze the global economy.
Reza Kahlili is a pseudonym for a former CIA operative in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and the author of the award winning book, A Time to Betray. He is a senior Fellow with EMPact America and teaches at the U.S. Department of Defense’s Joint Counterintelligence Training Academy (JCITA).