VOA – Iran shot down a U.S. drone Thursday in an incident Iranian officials said happened over the country’s territory, but U.S. officials say took place in international airspace.
In the Iranian account, the drone was an RQ-4 Global Hawk shot down by the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in the airspace of the country’s southern Hormozgan province, near the Strait of Hormuz.
A U.S. official identified the aircraft as an MQ-4C Triton that was flying over the Strait of Hormuz.
U.S. Central Command spokesman Navy Capt. Bill Urban told VOA, “No U.S. aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace today.”
He declined to comment further on the incident.
The U.S. military said Iran tried to shoot down a U.S. drone last week, and tensions between the two countries have increased with attacks against oil tankers in the region that the U.S. blames on Iran, but which Iran says it did not carry out.
Relations have deteriorated since U.S. President Donald Trump withdrew last year from the international agreement that limited Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
New U.S. sanctions have hurt Iran’s economy, and Iran has announced increased production of low-enriched uranium as it seeks help from European nations to circumvent the U.S. measures.