Iran shoots down US 'spy' drone in Hormozgan province

Iran shoots down US 'spy' drone in Hormozgan province”

Iran has shot down an American RQ-4 reconnaissance drone flying over Hormuzgan province, Tehran claims.

The US military has not confirmed or denied the reports.

Iran has shot down a U.S. "spy" drone over its territory after it violated Iranian airspace, its Revolutionary Guard said on Thursday.

The Persian Gulf nation said the drone was struck down by the Revolutionary Guard when it entered Iranian airspace in southern Iran's Hormozgan province.

RQ-4s typically fly at high altitude to conduct reconnaissance missions.

However, the spokesman insisted that "there was no drone over Iranian territory".

The attack comes amid a background of tensions after the USA withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran and oil tankers were targeted by Iranian-allied Houthi rebels.

Tensions have flared in recent days after two oil tankers came under attack near Strait of Hormuz - a major oil shipping route.

Tensions between Iran and the United States spiked since past year when President Donald Trump exited a 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.

"Our airspace is our red line and Iran has always responded and will continue to respond strongly to any country that violates our airspace", the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security council as saying. Iran has denied responsibility.

The reported shoot down comes amid heightened tensions between Iran and the US.

President Donald Trump made a decision to withdraw from Tehran's nuclear deal with world powers a year ago.

However, Mr Trump said he does not seek war with Iran.

Tensions were further fuelled on Monday when Iran said its stockpile of low-enriched uranium would next week exceed limits it agreed with worldwide powers in 2015.

While Trump has said that he does not seek war with Iran, the United States military has sent forces, including aircraft carriers, B-52 bombers, and troops to the Middle East.

"We are closely monitoring the situation and continuing to consult with our partners and allies", Sanders said today.

The Houthi's Al-Masirah satellite news channel claimed the rebels targeted a power plant in Jizan, near the kingdom's border with Yemen, with a cruise missile.

Meanwhile, President Donald has also been briefed on the details of a missile strike in Saudi Arabia, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders says.

The Houthis, who ousted the Saudi-backed internationally-recognised government from power in the Yemeni capital Sanaa in late 2014, have stepped up missile and drone attacks on Saudi cities in the past two weeks.

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