U.S. President Barack Obama said on Monday that his country has asked Iran to return a downed U.S. reconnaissance drone.
"As has already been indicated, we have asked for it back," the president told reporters at the White House, acknowledging for the first time that the drone is in Iran's control.
"We'll see how the Iranians respond," he said at a joint press conference with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki after bilateral talks.
The RQ-170 stealth aircraft went missing early this month while on a secretive mission. Obama refused to disclose details, saying only that "With respect to the drone inside of Iran, I'm not going to comment on intelligence matters that are classified."
Iranian media reported last week that the Iranian military downed the drone in the eastern part of the country after finding it transgressing the eastern border. The country's state TV later showed the footage of the drone.
An Iranian lawmaker said on Monday that Iran's military intends to carry out reverse-engineering on the drone and replicate it in the near future.