Published: Sat, July 20, 2019
Worldwide | By Lisa Hogan

US warship shoots down Iranian drone in strategic Strait of Hormuz

US warship shoots down Iranian drone in strategic Strait of Hormuz

The ship was reportedly seized by Iran in Larak Island in the Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman. "We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran".

"These seizures are unacceptable", Hunt said.

The Stena Impero has 23 personnel on board, the owners say.

US President Donald Trump said he would talk to the United Kingdom following the claims about the first tanker.

Quoting the Revolutionary Guard, Iran's state TV reported that the ship was captured for "not following global maritime regulations".

Leader of Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei had slammed earlier the UK's illegal seizure of an Iranian supertanker in Gibraltar, saying the act of "piracy" will not go unanswered.

Tehran yesterday denied that the U.S. had downed one of its drones, saying all Iranian aircraft were accounted for and jesting that Washington might have accidentally hit its own machine. Araghchi tweeted, after the United States claimed it downed an unmanned Iranian aircraft.

"Iran must cease this illicit activity and release the reportedly seized crew and vessel immediately".

But Iranian state TV showed video it claims was taken by the drone on Thursday of USS Boxer and another American warship.

Hossein Naghavi Hosseini, spokesman of the parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy, says that "with such allegations, America plans to create tensions and psychological warfare in the region and in Iran, and hide its failures".

A British-flagged oil tanker has been seized in the Gulf by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Iran media say.

Shortly after Trump's statement, chief Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman provided more details, saying a drone had approached the USS Boxer at around 10 a.m. local time, when the ship was in worldwide waters and was sailing in "an inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz".

Tehran categorically denied United States claims that a drone was brought down, saying all its craft were accounted for and jesting that American forces may have destroyed their own aircraft by mistake.

The strait is a vital shipping lane for oil and gas and is at the mouth of the Gulf.

Tensions between the two countries have escalated since a year ago when Trump withdrew the USA from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal in which Tehran agreed to curb its nuclear programme in return for the lifting of sanctions.

Western powers also blamed Iran for two mine attacks on oil tankers in the region last month - something it denies.

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