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Iran Claims Shootdown of Israeli Spy Drone Near Nuclear Site

  • VOA News

A security man stands next to an anti-aircraft gun as he looks around Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, 300 km south of capital Tehran, in this 2007 file photo.

A security man stands next to an anti-aircraft gun as he looks around Iran's nuclear enrichment facility in Natanz, 300 km south of capital Tehran, in this 2007 file photo.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard says it has shot down an Israeli spy drone that was approaching its main nuclear enrichment site at Natanz.

The Iranian forces said they targeted the "stealth, radar-evasive" drone with a ground-to-air missile and shot it down before it could reach the restricted nuclear site more than 300 kilometers south of the capital, Tehran.

The statement did not say when the drone was shot down or how Iran knew the unmanned aircraft was Israel's. Israel said it does not comment on foreign reports.

The Natanz facility houses more than 16,000 centrifuges to enrich uranium.

Iran does not recognize the Jewish state's right to exist, and Israel has often threatened to attack Iranian nuclear installations.

The report of the shootdown of the drone comes as Tehran is in the midst of extended talks over the scope of its nuclear program with six world powers - Britain, China, France, Russia, the United States and Germany . The United States and its allies have long suspected Iran of developing a nuclear weapon, while Tehran says its nuclear program is for peaceful, civilian purposes.

The United States eased economic sanctions against Tehran as part of an interim pact last November, but the world powers extended negotiations until late this year in an effort to reach a more comprehensive deal.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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