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Iran backtracks on report it downed U.S. 'spy drone'

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • Report of a U.S. drone shot down over Iran is "mistaken news," Iranian military says
  • A training exercise caused the false report, the military says
  • Iranian media reported last week the drone was shot down near a nuclear plant

(CNN) -- Iran's military shot down a report that it downed a U.S. "spy drone" flying near its Fordo nuclear enrichment plant in Qom province, according to Fars, the official Iranian news agency.

Fars and state-run Press TV both quoted an Iranian lawmaker last week saying that Iranian air defense units of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) shot down the drone.

The initial report was a mistake caused by a training exercise, an IRGC spokesman told Fars on Friday.

"What caused the mistaken news was the firing, by the forces of the IRGC Air Force, at an aerial training enemy target in the general area of the Province of Qom," the spokesman said.

In fact, he said it could not have happened since it is impossible for an American drone to penetrate Iran's air space "due to the vigilance of the anti-aircraft forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran."

The IRGC statement suggested to Iranian media to be careful to only report information given them "by the relevant authorities of the armed forces," Fars said.

The source of the "mistaken news" was Ali Aqazadeh Dafsari, who is a member of parliament's National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, Press TV reported. The lawmaker had said that the drone was on a mission to identify the nuclear enrichment plant's location and collect information about the facility for the CIA.