Iran denies Trump's claim that United States warship shot down its drone

Last month two oil tankers were evacuated off the coast of Iran after they were attacked and caught fire in the Gulf of Oman sending world oil prices soaring

"There is no question that this was an Iranian drone".

The U.S. and Iran have been locked in a standoff over American sanctions on Iranian oil following President Donald Trump's withdrawal from the 2015 nuclear accord past year.

This latest development comes amid heightened tensions between the United Kingdom and Iran.

The U.S. can prove that the amphibious assault ship USS Boxer destroyed one of Iran's drones, a senior Trump administration official says.

An Iranian Shahed 171 drone dropping a bomb as part of a military exercise in the Gulf, in Iran, in this undated handout photo.

The report said the vessel was intercepted Sunday in a section of the Strait of Hormuz south of Iran's Larak Island with 12 crew members on board. Mesdar’s manager Norbulk said it was checking the report. "If you fly too close to our ships, you're going to get shot down".

"I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the strait and to work with us in the future", the president added.

Mr. Trump announced the operation Thursday, saying the drone was "immediately destroyed" in a defensive action after Iranians ignored "multiple" orders from the USS Boxer to stand down.

Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister, on Friday denied that an Iranian drone has been shot down by the U.S. Navy in the Strait of Hormuz.

"I am anxious that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS by mistake", he said.

"Iran last month shot down a US surveillance drone that it claimed was flying over Iranian airspace, which almost prompted a retaliatory strike", reports the Hill.

At the time, Trump said he called off a retaliatory military attack on Iran at the last moment.

Veiled attacks on oil tankers and Iran's downing of a USA military surveillance drone have further fueled concerns of a military conflict in the Persian Gulf region.

Last week, a British warship in the Persian Gulf prevented three Iranian patrol boats from stopping a British merchant ship as it was entering the Strait of Hormuz.

Gibraltar's Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the Grace 1 supertanker can be detained for 30 more days.

Earlier in the day, new developments in the missing tanker in the area brought to light, according to Iran, that it had seized a small vessel over the weekend that it had suspected of smuggling oil.

The incidents have raised fears of a regional conflict involving the USA and its allies in the Gulf region, through which almost a third of the world's oil is transported. Iran said all of its unmanned planes were accounted for, amid growing global concern that both sides could blunder into a war in the Gulf. "The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew", said the statement.

Iran claims it has seized a British oil tanker transiting the Strait of Hormuz, weeks after it pledged retaliation for the United Kingdom detaining an Iranian vessel near Gibraltar that was reportedly violating worldwide sanctions.

The vehicle "was confiscated by the Revolutionary Guards at the request of Hormozgan Ports and Maritime Organisation when passing through the Strait of Hormuz", they said.

Iran's Revolutionary Guard said on its website on Friday that it would release images from the drone - taken both before and after the United States claimed it was downed.



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