Iran denies US has shot down one of its drones

A boat of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard sails close to Stena Impero
A boat of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard sails close to Stena Impero. Photo credit: Reuters

No Iranian drone has been brought down, the ISNA news agency has quoted Iran's Defence Minister Amir Hatami as saying, after the US military said it had taken action against two Iranian drones in the past week.

The United States said last Thursday that a Navy ship had "destroyed" an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the aircraft threatened the vessel, but Iran said it had no information about losing a drone.

On Tuesday the US military said one of its ships had taken defensive action against a second Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz last week, but did not see the drone go into the water.

"We showed the body of the (US) drone that we brought down," Hatami said, according to ISNA.

"If anyone claims they brought down our drone, show it. No drone from the Islamic Republic of Iran has been brought down."

Mediator sent to Iran

Britain has sent a mediator to Iran to discuss the freeing of a British-flagged tanker seized by the Islamic Republic last week, the head of the Supreme Leader's office says, according to the semi-official Tasnim news site.

Tensions have spiked between Iran and Britain since the Islamic Republic last Friday seized the tanker, Stena Impero, saying it had collided with a fishing vessel.

Mohammad Mohammadi-Golpayegani provided no details about the British mediator's trip but made an ironic reference to Britain's involvement during colonial times in Iranian affairs.

"A country that at one time appointed ministers and lawyers in Iran has reached a point where they send a mediator and plead for their ship to be freed," Mohammadi-Golpayegani said, according to Tasnim.