The United States will destroy any Iranian drones that fly too close to its ships and has “clear evidence” that it shot down such a drone on Thursday, a senior Trump administration official said.

“If they fly too close to our ships, they’ll continue to be shot down,” the official told reporters at a briefing on Friday.

The comments came a day after US President Donald Trump said the US Navy “destroyed” an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the vessel, a claim Iran denied.

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The US reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests,” Trump said on Thursday.

“The drone was immediately destroyed,” he added. The Pentagon later said the Navy ship had taken “defensive action” against an Iranian drone at 10am local time (07:00 GMT) on Thursday.

Abbas Araghchi, Iranian deputy foreign minister, dismissed the claim in a Twitter post on Friday.

“We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS [Unmanned Aerial System] by mistake!” he wrote.

Later on Friday, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) released video it said proves the US warship did not destroy its drone.

Iranian state TV showed video it said was taken by an Iranian drone on Thursday of the USS Boxer and another American warship. The IRGC on its website said the drone recorded three hours of video of the USS Boxer and five other vessels Thursday starting when the ships first entered the Strait of Hormuz.

The senior Trump administration official on Friday said “we have very clear evidence” that US Navy warship USS Boxer shot down an Iranian drone. “We’re confident,” the official said.

A video of the incident could be released by the Pentagon, the official said.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here