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World

AFP
July 19, 2019

Tehran dismisses US claim of destroying Iranian drone

World

AFP
Fri, Jul 19, 2019

TEHRAN: Iran on Friday categorically denied US President Donald Trump´s claims that Washington brought down an Iranian drone, saying all its craft are accounted for and jesting that American forces may have destroyed their own machine by mistake.

The latest incident in the strategic Strait of Hormuz comes amid soaring tensions between the two foes, with Washington already reeling from Iran shooting down one of its drones last month.

Trump said a US naval vessel downed an Iranian drone Thursday that threatened the ship as it was entering the Strait -- a claim vehemently denied by Tehran.

Iran´s armed forces dismissed Trump´s assertion as "baseless and delusional" but admitted one of their drones was flying near the US ship.

"All of (Iran´s) drones... have safely returned to their bases," said armed forces spokesman Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi.

"There have been no reports of a confrontation with the American USS Boxer" naval vessel, he said, quoted by Tasnim news agency.

The Revolutionary Guards said they would publish photos taken by one of their drones of the USS Boxer.

Images were transmitted to base "before and even after the time Americans claim" the drone was destroyed, they said in a statement on their Sepahnews website.

The Pentagon said the ship "was in international waters" when a drone approached at around 10:00 am (0530 GMT).

Trump said the USS Boxer "took defensive action" against an Iranian aircraft as it was "threatening the safety" of the vessel and its crew.

But Iran´s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araghchi quipped that the United States may have actually downed one of its own aircraft.

"I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own (drones) by mistake!" Araghchi tweeted.