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Iran: 'We Haven't Lost a Drone'

Tehran denies there was confrontation with US vessel
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 19, 2019 3:24 AM CDT
Iran's Foreign Minister Javad Zarif addresses the High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development, at United Nations headquarters, Wednesday, July 17, 2019.   (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
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(Newser) – Iran on Friday denied President Trump's statement that a US 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, the AP reports. "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 defensive action after an Iranian drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and ignored multiple calls to stand down.

Trump blamed Iran for a "provocative and hostile" action and said the US responded in self-defense. Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters as he arrived for a meeting at the United Nations that "we have no information about losing a drone today." The Pentagon said Thursday's incident happened at 10am local time 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 aircraft carrier. Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone, though CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down rather than hitting it with a missile.

(Read more Iran stories.)

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