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US spy drone shot down in Iran airspace

By Lynn Herrmann     Jul 21, 2011 in Politics
Tehran - A US spy drone has been shot down by Iran after the unmanned plane was discovered flying over the Fordo nuclear enrichment facility in the north central province of Qom, a senior Iranian government leader claims, a claim denied by US officials.
Ali Aqhazadeh Dafsari, a member of parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said on Tuesday the drone’s mission was to gather information for the CIA on the location of the Fordo nuclear facility.
“An unmanned US spy plane flying over the holy city of Qom near the uranium enrichment Fordu site was shot down by the Revolutionary Guards’ air defense units,” Dafsari was quoted by the Iran state TV’s Youth Journalists Club, Al Arabiya News reports. “The plane ... was trying to collect information about the site’s location.”
Dafsari did not provide details on when the incident took place, and Iran has not provided visual proof of the shot-down drone. The US Pentagon has denied the incident, but has previously acknowledged some spy drones have crashed due to mechanical failure.
Earlier this year, Iran announced it had shot down two spy drones in the Persian Gulf. “We have experienced similar incidents many times in the past and there have even been drones belonging to the occupying Zionist regime (Israel), the United States and Britain which have been shot down in the Persian Gulf during the past 7 years,” a senior military official told Fars News Agency (FNA) in January.
The Fordo nuclear site, previously secret, was confirmed in 2009 by Iran after western intelligence identified it. Reportedly, the site is situated 295 feet beneath a mountain, located next to a military site for protection in case of attack.
The US government, along with several of its allies, including Israel, claim Iran is attempting to produce uranium for use in nuclear weapons. The allegations have repeatedly been denied by Iran, instead claiming it is attempting to produce electricity at its nuclear facilities.
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