The US said its naval vessel had destroyed an unmanned Iranian aircraft in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the ship, while Iran said it did not receive the information.
In an event at the White House on July 18, US President Donald Trump said the unmanned aircraft had approached within 1,000 meters of the USS Boxer amphibious ship and ignored “many back-up warnings”.
“This is the latest action in many of Iran’s provocative and hostile actions for ships operating in international waters. The United States has the right to protect our personnel, facilities and interests,” said Trump. to speak.
“The unmanned aircraft was destroyed immediately,” he added.
Interfering with electronics and destroy immediately
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told reporters at the UN: “We currently have no information about the loss of an unmanned aircraft”.
The Pentagon said in a statement that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, had taken “defensive action” against an unmanned aircraft on the morning of July 18 when Boxer was moving into the Strait. Hormuz.
“We value it as an Iranian unmanned aircraft,” said Commander Rebecca Rebarich, a Pentagon spokesman.
An American official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters that unmanned aircraft were shot down on July 18 through electronic jamming. Initially, some US media reported that Iranian drones were shot down but later said it was electronically jammed and destroyed rather than shot down by fire.
Meanwhile, NBC quoted a US defense official as saying the unmanned aircraft was knocked down by members of the 11th Marine Exploration Unit.
Gulf “rising heat”
Tensions in the Gulf region are rising with fears that the US and Iran may be caught up in the war.
The United States blamed Iran for a series of attacks since mid-May for tankers around the Strait of Hormuz. Tehran denied the allegations.
In June, Iran shot down an unmanned aerial reconnaissance aircraft of the US military with surface-to-air missiles. Iran says unmanned aircraft are in their airspace but Washington says it is in the international sky.
Trump said that at that time the United States was close to launching a military attack on Iran in retaliation for the shooting down of US drones.
Relations between the US and Iran have deteriorated since last year when President Trump abandoned the 2015 agreement between world powers and Iran, in which Tehran agreed to limit nuclear production in exchange for lifting the sanctions. punish.
The US has imposed sanctions to curb Iran’s oil trade and said it wants to increase pressure on Tehran to renegotiate the agreement, discuss ballistic missile programs and modify behavior. in the Middle East, where Washington allied with some Arab countries against Iran.
Iranian leaders have ruled out renegotiating the nuclear deal or organized missile program negotiations that they say are purely defensive.
Earlier on July 18, the US asked Iran to immediately drop a ship they captured in the Gulf. An American military commander in the area said that the US would work hard to ensure free boats pass through important waterways.
Iran dismissed the seriousness of the ship arrest that it said was a small ship smuggling oil.
Washington has recently increased its regional military presence and Bahrain-based Five Fleet, saying that Arab states in the Gulf have increased patrols.
On July 18, Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami said Iran had used a defensive strategy, but warned that “if our enemies make any mistakes … their strategy I can become an attack. “
Oil prices skyrocketed on July 18 after news of the ship’s arrest. However, it was subsequently reduced due to expectations that crude oil production would increase in the Gulf of Mexico after the storm last week in the region.
On the same day, the US imposed sanctions on a network of international companies and agents that they said were involved in the procurement of materials for the Iranian nuclear program.