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Iranian company wants to send toy drone to Obama

From Shirzad Bozorgmehr, CNN
updated 5:34 AM EST, Wed January 18, 2012
An Iranian non-profit company says it will send numerous miniature toy drones to U.S. President Barack Obama as a present.
An Iranian non-profit company says it will send numerous miniature toy drones to U.S. President Barack Obama as a present.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • An Iranian company wants to send replicas of a downed drone to Obama
  • Iran says the plane crashed in Iranian territory on December 4
  • Obama asked for the drone back in December

Tehran, Iran (CNN) -- An Iranian non-profit company says it will honor U.S. President Barack Obama's request that Iran return a drone that crashed there last year.

But instead of the actual drone, the company says it will send miniature toy versions. A lot of them.

"We plan to send a full squadron of 12 to the White House for President Obama as a present," said Reza Kioumarsi, a spokesman for the Aaye Art Group, a Tehran-based non-profit, non-governmental company that makes novelty items.

The company is trying to determine what Obama's favorite color is before sending the drones, which are 1/80th the size of the real drone, Kioumarsi said.

Downed US drone on surveillance mission
Did Iran hack downed U.S. drone?

In December, Obama said the United States has asked Iran to return the highly classified RQ-170 Sentinel drone.

"We've asked for it back. We'll see how the Iranians respond," Obama said at the time.

This is probably not the response Obama was seeking.

Iran has said the country's armed forces had downed the drone near Kashmar, some 225 kilometers (140 miles) from the border with Afghanistan on December.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad gave a speech in December that seemed to suggest that Iran wouldn't return it.

"The North Americans at best have decided to give us this spy plane," Ahmadinejad said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel is one of the United States' most sophisticated drones and flies at up to 50,000 feet. It is designed to evade sophisticated air defenses.

One former intelligence official said it's "impossible to see" and discounted Iranian claims that it had been brought down by some form of electronic counter-measures. "It simply fell into their laps," he said -- after satellite communication was lost.

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