Iran’s semiofficial Fars news agency says the country’s armed forces have shot down an unmanned US spy plane that violated Iranian airspace along its eastern border.
The report says the plane was an RQ170 type drone and is now in the possession of Iran’s armed forces. The Fars news agency is close to the powerful Revolutionary Guard.
Iran shot down the drone at a time when it is trying to contain foreign reaction to the storming of the British embassy in Tehran on Tuesday, shortly after London announced that it would impose sanctions on Iran’s central bank in connection with Iran’s controversial nuclear enrichment programme.
Britain evacuated its diplomatic staff from Iran and expelled Iranian diplomats in London in retaliation, and several other EU members recalled their ambassadors from Tehran.
The attack dragged Iran’s relations with Europe to a long-time low.
Washington and EU countries have been discussing measures to restrict Iran’s oil exports since the United Nations nuclear watchdog issued a report in November with what it said was evidence that Tehran had worked on designing an atom bomb.
Iran says its nuclear program is entirely peaceful.
04 December 2011, Sunday / REUTERS/AP, TEHRAN