COMMENTARY | Iran claims it has successfully reverse-engineered the American spy drone captured last year within the country's borders, according to the Associated Press. As someone who studies politics, I am not very worried about Iran using this technology as much as I am concerned by the door this opens for the nation. The thought of Iran sharing this technology with other countries and terrorist organizations scares me the most.
Iran would be very likely to use their new drones to patrol their borders. We are not fighting a ground war with Iran so patrolling spy drones are not as much of an issue as some people might think. The most direct impact on the U.S. would happen if the new drones were used to hunt down our spies or moles in the region. The real worry, though, should come in the next steps the Iranian military structure could take.
If Iran is able to recreate the American spy drone, it would not be out of the realm of possibility to say they might also be able to mass-produce the Iranian version. With the oil sanctions right now on Iran, the country needs revenue to fill the gap. The spy drone market could be a market to help Iran pad some of the losses in the oil industry in the last few months.
A great concern could come to peacekeeping troops in Afghanistan and Iraq if Iran started to manufacture spy drones for terrorist organizations. Countries like Pakistan could deploy spy drones to ensure that no more secret operations are carried out by the U.S. military. At the same time, North Korea could become very interested in the Iranian version of the American technology and attempt to purchase some to patrol the Korean border in another attempt to harass their southern neighbor.
Our primary concern should not be the fact that Iran captured a spy drone and was able to reverse-engineer it. Iran's ability to brag to the rest of the world about how it compromised a U.S. spy drone is not as important as the security of our troops and our allies. A mass-produced Iranian spy drone could be a worst-case scenario.