20 July 2011
Iran claims to have shot down U.S. drone 'spying on nuclear facility for the CIA'
By Daily Mail Reporter

The Daily Mail


A U.S. drone has been shot down while flying over a nuclear facility in Iran, according to Iranian media reports.

Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari, a member of the parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, told Iran's Fars news agency the unmanned spy plane was flying near the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province when it was brought down by Revolutionary Guard soldiers.

He did not say when the alleged incident took place.

Shot down: Iran claims to have brought down a U.S. drone flying over the Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province

Mr Dafsari claimed the drone was trying to gather information about the nuclear facility for the CIA.

The agency also said Iranian military officials had claimed to have shot down 'several enemy drones' in January.

'We have experienced similar incidents many times in the past and there have even been drones belonging to the occupying Zionist regime (Israel), the U.S. and Britain which have been shot down in the Persian Gulf during the past seven years,' a senior military officials said at the time.

Iran is locked in a dispute with the U.S. and its allies over Tehran's disputed nuclear programme, which the West believes aims to develop nuclear weapons.

'Spying': A satellite image apparently shows the Natanz nuclear plant in Iran. Authorities claimed the drone was flying over the Fordo plant, near Qom

Iran denies the accusations, saying its nuclear programme will generate electricity and produce isotopes to treat medical patients.

A long-held secret, the Fordo site is built next to a military complex to protect it in case of attack.

Iran only acknowledged its existence after Western intelligence agencies identified it in September 2009. The facility is reportedly 295ft underneath a mountain.

The country has said it is planning to install advanced centrifuges at Fordo to speed up its nuclear activities.

Nuclear experts said by increasing enrichment level and its stock of nearly 20 per cent low-enriched uranium, Iran could reach a 'break out' capability that would allow it to make enough weapons-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon.

Global Network