TEHRAN (Dispatches) -- The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) on Friday released footage captured by an Iranian drone flying over the Strait of Hormuz and monitoring a U.S. Navy vessel, disproving a claim by Washington that the unmanned aircraft had been shot down by American forces.
The IRGC’s Public Relations Department said the footage had been released with the aim of exposing Washington’s "lies”.
U.S. President Donald Trump had claimed on Thursday that the drone was shot down after it flew to within 900 meters the USS Boxer amphibious assault ship and ignored "multiple calls to stand down”.
According to an IRGC statement, the footage showed the drone successfully transmitting pictures of the U.S. warship before and after the time when the Americans claimed they shot it down.
It also showed the drone returning to its base safe and sound, it added.
The IRGC navy and aerospace forces are "smartly, constantly, and precisely” monitoring and controlling the activities of aliens, "particularly the terrorist forces of the U.S. and Britons”, to ensure the security of the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf, the statement said.
The IRGC also vowed to give appropriate responses to any aggressive and unlawful move made by foreign forces in violation of the international laws.
Earlier on Friday, a spokesman for the Iranian armed forces officially rejected the U.S. president’s claim, saying the allegation was aimed at creating tension and disrupting security in the strategic waterway.
"Unlike Trump’s delusional and groundless claim, all drones belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, including the one mentioned by the US president, have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out their scheduled surveillance and control operations,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said.
"The armed forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran always feel duty-bound to protect, control, and safeguard the security of the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz with full vigilance while observing international regulations,” he added.
"We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake!” Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also tweeted.