CIA Spy Plane Loss Exposes Covert US-Iran Conflict

The loss to Iran of a CIA's surveillance drone with advanced spy technology is more than a propaganda coup and intelligence windfall for the Tehran government.

The plane's capture has peeled back another layer of secrecy from expanding U.S. operations against Iran's nuclear and military programs.

Like the Soviet Union's downing of the American U-2 spy plane during the Cold War, Iran's recovery of the drone has cast a spotlight on part of the U.S.-Iran spycraft.

Experts say the drone probably carried an advanced radar system as well as other specialized sensors, including detectors for monitoring nuclear sites. If those were reverse-engineered by Iran, they could give insights into how to hide its nuclear facilities from U.S. surveillance.

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