TEHRAN — Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards said Sunday its forces shot down an Israeli drone as it approached an Iranian nuclear site, recovering major parts of what it described as an advanced aircraft. Israeli officials could not be immediately reached for comment.
The incident comes as Iran negotiates with world powers over its nuclear program and hard-liners press moderate President Hassan Rouhani to demand more concessions before limiting its atomic capabilities. Israel has not ruled out taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities if its capability to build an atomic weapon progresses.
The Guards issued a statement Sunday on its website saying its forces fired a missile at the drone as it neared its uranium enrichment facility in Natanz, some 150 miles south of the capital, Tehran. The statement did not say when it shot down the drone.
Guards spokesman General Ramazan Sharif later told Iranian state television that officials believed it to be a ‘‘new generation’’ drone used by Israel.
‘‘Major parts of the devices of the drone are intact and have been received by our friends that can be used for further information,’’ Sharif said.
Sharif did not say when the aircraft was shot down, but said it was ‘‘identified upon arrival in Iranian airspace.’’