TEHRAN, Iran (AP)– Iran on Friday denied President Donald Trump’s claim that a U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone near the Persian Gulf in another escalation of tensions between the two nations less than a month after Trump almost launched an airstrike.

The Iranian military stated all its drones had returned safely to their bases and rejected there was any fight with a U.S. vessel the previous day.

The nation’s Revolutionary Guard stated on its website it would launch before-and-after images from the drone– it did not state when– to prove it was not damaged.

” We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,” tweeted Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi.

The strategically vital strait is at the mouth of the Persian Gulf and acts as the passage for one-fifth of all international crude exports, and oil rates ticked upward Friday on the news.

Trump on Thursday stated the USS Boxer did something about it after an Iranian drone closed to within 1,000 yards of the warship and overlooked commands to keep away. The president accused Iran of “intriguing and hostile” action and stated the U.S. acted in self-defense.

Neither Trump nor the Pentagon defined how the Boxer damaged the drone. CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down instead of striking it with a rocket.

On June 20, Iran shot down an American drone in the exact same waterway, and Trump came close to striking back but aborted an airstrike at the last moment.

The Revolutionary Guard stated the Iranian drone on Thursday had been bring out regular monitoring when the USS Boxer got here, and sent images of the ship. The Guard said its forces continue to carefully keep an eye on all movements of foreigners– especially “the terrorist forces” of the U.S. and the British in the strait and the Gulf.

After Trump pulled the U.S. out of the Iran nuclear deal with world powers in 2015 and enforced economic sanctions against Tehran, the Iranians have actually pushed back on the military front in current weeks, with Washington accusing Tehran of threatening American forces and interests in Iraq and in the Gulf.

Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, recommended in New York as he arrived for a meeting at the United Nations that Iran could instantly validate a contract to allow more comprehensive inspections of its nuclear facilities by U.N. inspectors if the U.S. dropped its sanctions.

China urged Washington to consider the deal, calling it “a positive signal that Iran is prepared to look for a compromise service.”

The Pentagon stated Thursday’s incident took place in international waters while the Boxer was entering the Gulf. The Fighter is amongst numerous U.S. Navy ships in the location, consisting of the USS Abraham Lincoln, a carrier that has been running in the North Arabian Sea for weeks in response to increasing tensions.

The Iranians and Americans have actually had close encounters in the Strait of Hormuz in the past, and it is not unmatched for Iran to fly a drone near a U.S. warship.

Zarif blamed Washington for the escalation and accused the Trump administration of “trying to starve our individuals” and “diminish our treasury” through sanctions.


Increasing reported from Berlin. Associated Press authors Darlene Superville, Robert Burns and Deb Riechmann in Washington, Barry Hatton in Lisbon, Ian Phillips in New York, Ken Moritsugu in Beijing and Carlo Piovano in London contributed to this report.

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