“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 by mistake!” Araghchi tweeted, after the United States claimed it downed an unmanned Iranian aircraft.
US President Donald Trump said Thursday an American naval vessel shot down an Iranian drone that threatened the ship as it was entering the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
Trump announced that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, “took defensive action” against the Iranian aircraft as it was “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew.”
The drone was “immediately destroyed” after it approached within 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the Boxer, Trump said.
Tehran’s top diplomat, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters Thursday he had “no information about losing a drone today,” as he arrived at the United Nations headquarters in New York.
The apparent confrontation between the two foes marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.
The Pentagon said the incident happened at 10 a.m. local time Thursday in international waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf. The Boxer is among several US Navy ships in the area, including the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier that has been operating in the nearby North Arabian Sea for weeks.
“A fixed-wing unmanned aerial system approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range,” chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a written statement. “The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.”
Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone. CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down rather than hitting it with a missile.