- Associated Press - Sunday, January 2, 2011

TEHRAN (AP) — Iran‘s Revolutionary Guard on Sunday claimed to have shot down several Western spy planes, including two in the Persian Gulf, but provided no evidence.

The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which is based in the Gulf, said it had no reports of aircraft downed “recently.”

Iran‘s semiofficial Fars news agency on Sunday quoted the head of the Guard’s air force wing, Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, as saying Iran has “shot down a large number of … highly advanced spy planes” that violated Iranian airspace.

Gen. Hajizadeh provided no proof and did not say when the aircraft were downed or what country they belonged to.

Iran is locked in a dispute with the United States and its allies over Tehran’s disputed nuclear program, which the West believes aims to develop nuclear weapons. Iran denies the accusations.