FARS NEWS AGENCY (Iran), CNN, NEW YORK TIMES (USA), REUTERS (UK)
TEHRAN - Iran's navy claims to have captured a U.S. drone flying over the Persian Gulf, Iranian state media reported on Tuesday.
The Fars news agency said that the Boeing-made ScanEagle drone was gathering information over Gulf waters when it entered Iranian airspace.
General Ali Fadavi, the Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, was quoted as saying the "intruding" drone was now in Iran's possession. Fadavi did not give detailed information as to when and where the drone was seized.
Iran Press TV showed footage of what purported to be a drone, adds CNN.
However, a spokesman for the United States Navy based in Bahrain denied the Iranian claim, saying that no American drones were missing, reports The New York Times.
"The U.S. Navy has fully accounted for all unmanned air vehicles (UAV) operating in the Middle East region. Our operations in the Gulf are confined to internationally recognized water and air space," the spokesman said, according to Reuters. “We have no record that we have lost any ScanEagles recently.”
The internationally recognized territorial limit is 12 nautical miles off the coast.
If true, the seizure of the drone would be the third reported incident involving Iran and U.S. drones in the past two years.
Last month, the Pentagon said Iranian jets had fired without hitting a U.S. drone as it flew off the Iranian coastline in the northern Persian Gulf.