The United States has rejected reports by Iranian state media that Iran has seized two US Navy unmanned surface vessels.
The US 5th Fleet said on Friday that the reports are not true whatsoever, adding that the fleet continues to operate its systems across the Middle East consistent with international law and without disruption.
Earlier in the day, the Iranian Army's Navy commander Shahram Irani had claimed that the Islamic Republic's Navy had seized two American sea drones. He made the remarks announcing the homecoming of the 84th IRIN Information and Operation Naval Fleet at the end of their 86-day mission in free and international waters.
Iranian Army's Navy commander Shahram Irani
The development came two days after the US military made an unusual disclosure, revealing the location of its submerged nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarines in the Arabian Sea near Iran’s waters.
The US Central Command (CENTCOM) released photos showing its commander General Michael “Erik” Kurilla onboard West Virginia. It has been described as a rare decision, as the US military seldom, if ever, acknowledges where its ballistic missile subs are operating, particularly when they are stationed near an adversary's shores. Kurilla's visit may be seen as sending a message to US adversaries in the region, including the Islamic Republic, of Washington's capabilities, including submarines that can carry up to 20 ballistic missiles with multiple warheads.
Late August, the US Navy prevented an IRGC navy support ship from capturing an unmanned vessel operated by the US 5th Fleet in the Persian Gulf.