Iran says it has brought down a mock spy drone

LONDON Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:56am IST

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LONDON (Reuters) - Iran's Revolutionary Guards said they had conducted tests aimed at bringing down a "hypothetical" foreign surveillance drone during a military exercise, the official Fars news agency said on Saturday.

The Islamic Republic News Agency, another official news agency, also reported the exercise, but ommitted the word hypothetical giving the impression that a real drone had been downed.

Other official Iranian media outlets later referred to the downing of a "hypothetical" aircraft.

In the past, there have been incidents of Iran claiming to have seized U.S. drones.

In early January Iranian media said Iran had captured two miniature U.S.-made surveillance drones over the past 17 months.

Several drone incidents over the past year or so have highlighted tension in the Gulf as Iran and the United States flex their military capabilities in a standoff over Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

Iran said in January that lightweight RQ11 Raven drones were brought down by Iranian air defence units in separate incidents in August 2011 and November 2012. (Writing by Stephen Powell; Editing by Jon Hemming)

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