Iran on Friday denied President Donald Trump’s statement that a United States warship destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf after it threatened the ship, an incident that marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than a month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.
The Iranian military said all its drones had returned safely to their bases and denied there was any confrontation with a US vessel the previous day.
“We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,” tweeted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.
The strait is at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and serves as the passageway for a fifth of all global crude exports; a clash there highlights the risk of war between Iran and the US.
Trump on Thursday said the USS Boxer took defensive action after an Iranian drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down.