The United States will destroy any Iranian drones that fly too closely to its ships and has “clear evidence” that it shot down such a drone on Thursday, a senior Trump administration official said on Friday.
“If they fly too close to our ships, they’ll continue to be shot down,” the official told reporters at a briefing.
Iran on Friday denied President Donald Trump’s claim that a US warship destroyed an Iranian drone near the Arabian Gulf in another escalation of tensions between the two countries less than a month after Trump nearly launched an airstrike.
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.
The country’s Revolutionary Guard said on its website it would release before-and-after images from the drone — it did not say when — to prove it was not destroyed.
“We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,” tweeted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.
Trump on Thursday said the USS Boxer took action after an Iranian drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored commands to stay away. The president accused Iran of “provocative and hostile” action and said the US acted in self-defense.