US warship- USS Boxer
US Navy 'USS Boxer' warship.Reuters

In another incident that may lead to further escalation of tensions between the United States and Iran, US President Donald Trump said the USS Boxer destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday after the aircraft flew within 1,000 (914m) yards of the warship.

Trump said that the aircraft ignored "multiple calls to stand down" and was "immediately destroyed" after it threatened "the safety of the ship and the ship's crew" in the Persian Gulf.

Other countries were also called to condemn Iran's actions and protect their own vessels that are deployed in the strategic international waters. "The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interest and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce," said Trump.

A defence official told New York Times that the drone was destroyed using an electronic jamming device. 

Confirming the attack, Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman released a statement that said, "At approximately 10 am local time, the amphibious ship USS Boxer was in international waters conducting a planned inbound transit of the Strait of Hormuz. A fixed-wing unmanned aerial system (UAS) approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew." 

"We assess the UAS to be Iranian," Pentagon spokeswoman Commander Rebecca Rebarich told CNN.

Iran's Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif dismissed the claims on Thursday and said,  "We have no information about losing a drone."

US-Iran tensions

The relations between Iran and the US have deteriorated since 2018 after US President Donald Trump scrapped the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action also known as the Iran nuclear deal.

In the past few two months, the ties between the two countries have worsened after US called off a military strike on Tehran as a retaliatory move against shooting down of a US drone by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Experts have expressed concerns that the chances of a military confrontation between the two countries at the Persian Gulf remain dominant.

The strategic waters of the Strait of Hormuz is one of the most crucial sea routes as a fifth of the global oil supply passes through the strategic channel. Analysts have said the war in the channel that links key crude oil-producing Gulf countries including Iran, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates with the rest of the world, could lead to a massive crash of the world economy.