UK News: Iran says video 'proves drone not downed' by US - PressFrom - United Kingdom
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UK NewsIran says video 'proves drone not downed' by US

21:50  19 july  2019
21:50  19 july  2019 Source:   bbc.com

Iran rejects Trump report that U.S. Navy downed 'provocative' drone

Iran rejects Trump report that U.S. Navy downed 'provocative' drone Iran rejects Trump report that U.S. Navy downed 'provocative' drone

Iran has broadcast footage it says disproves US claims to have destroyed an Iranian drone in the Gulf.

Iranian state TV says it shows warships in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and was filmed by the same drone after the time the US said it had been downed.

Despite the denials from Iran, US President Donald Trump said he had "no doubt" the drone had been taken down.

He said his navy was forced into action after the drone came within 1,000 yards (914m) of a US warship on Thursday.

A senior US official, who spoke to reporters on condition of anonymity on Friday, said Washington had "very clear evidence" that it had downed the drone, without giving further details.

Iran seizes British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz

Iran seizes British oil tanker in Strait of Hormuz Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Friday they had captured a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf after Britain seized an Iranian vessel earlier this month, further raising tensions along a vital international oil shipping route. Britain said it was urgently seeking information about the Stena Impero after the tanker, which had been heading to a port in Saudi Arabia, suddenly changed course after passing through the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf. The Revolutionary Guards said they seized the tanker at the request of Iranian maritime authorities for "not following international maritime regulations", state television reported.

Tensions between the two nations remain high, after a series of incidents in the world's key shipping area.

In June, Iran shot down a US military drone in the same area. Iran has also been blamed by the US for a number of attacks on tankers since May - allegations Tehran denies.

The incidents have triggered fears of a military conflict in the region.

What does the Iranian video purportedly show?

The video shows black and white aerial views of warships moving in water, indicating the time, the date and the geographical co-ordinates.

Iranian state TV said it was taken by the drone alleged to have been downed, as it flew over an American amphibious group led by the USS Boxer - the navy ship in question.

Foreign Office 'urgently investigating' Iran claims over seized tanker

Foreign Office 'urgently investigating' Iran claims over seized tanker The Foreign Office is "urgently seeking" further information after Iran claimed to have seized a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz. © Sky News Screen Grab The Stena Impero has been seized in the Strait of Hormuz Owners of the Stena Impero have confirmed the vessel was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter as it passed through the Strait of Hormuz at around 4pm UK time. © Other The Iranian Revolutionary Guard told state TV it seized the vessel File pic: Stena Bulk A statement from the ship's owner and management firm said it was "in international waters".

Iran says video 'proves drone not downed' by US © AFP/Getty Images The USS Boxer "took defensive action" against the Iranian drone, President Trump said

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), who published the footage, said it was taken "before and even after the time Americans claim" to have destroyed their drone.

But the pictures are inconclusive, says the BBC's diplomatic correspondent Paul Adams.

He says at least some of the images appear to have been filmed from an Iranian helicopter that was also on the scene.

According to a Wall Street Journal reporter on board the USS Boxer at the time, an Iranian Bell 212 helicopter was flying "yards away" from the vessel before being chased off by American helicopters.

What does the US say happened?

President Trump said the USS Boxer "took defensive action" against the Iranian aircraft as it was "threatening the safety" of the navy amphibious assault ship and its crew early on Thursday.

Iran says it seized British tanker, denies U.S. brought down drone

Iran says it seized British tanker, denies U.S. brought down drone Iran says it seized British tanker, denies U.S. brought down drone

"The drone was immediately destroyed... after ignoring multiple calls to stand down," he added.

According to the Pentagon, the ship was in international waters when the drone approached at 10:00 local time (05:30 GMT).

Iran was quick to dismiss President Trump's claim, with one senior official even suggesting it may have targeted its own drone by mistake.

"I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own (drones) by mistake!" Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi tweeted on Friday.

After the alleged footage was released by Iran, President Trump told reporters he was confident US forces had "shot down" the drone.

Why all the tension?

It's not the first time the US and Iran have been at odds over an incident in the strategic sea passage in the Gulf.

Last month, Iran shot down a US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, accusing it of violating Iranian airspace. But the US military said the drone had been over international waters at the time, and condemned it as an unprovoked attack.

Tensions between the two nations have risen sharply since the US tightened sanctions it reimposed on Iran's oil sector after unilaterally withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal.

Iran says British tanker seized because of collision

Iran says British tanker seized because of collision TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's seizure of a British-flagged oil tanker was allegedly due to a collision with an Iranian fishing boat, the country's state-run IRNA news agency said Saturday. The British tanker reportedly caused damage to the fishing boat, then didn't respond to calls from the smaller craft. The fishing boat informed Iran's Ports and Maritime Organization, which notified the Revolutionary Guard. IRNA reported that the Revolutionary Guard vessels directed the Stena Impero to an Iranian port for an investigation Friday.

The US has also called on Iran to release a Panamanian-flagged Riah tanker and 12 of its crew, which was seized by the Revolutionary Guards on Sunday during a naval patrol.

Iran says the vessel had been smuggling fuel, and released footage of Iranian speedboats circling around it.

The US has blamed Iran for two separate attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman in May and June - an allegation Tehran has denied.

UK warships have meanwhile been shadowing British oil tankers in the area since Iran threatened to seize one in response to the impounding of an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar.

The UK said the tanker was suspected of breaching EU sanctions against Syria. Iran denied it was en route there.

Iran says video 'proves drone not downed' by US © BBC

British vessel transits strait where Iran seized tanker.
The BW Elm was closely shadowed by HMS Montrose, according to Lloyd’s List.

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