American President Donald Trump says a U.S. warship shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship. He described the incident as the latest “hostile” action by Iran.
The president said the drone came within 900 meters of the warship USS Boxer and ignored several warnings to stand down. He added the drone threatened the safety of the American ship and its crew.
The president also asked other countries to condemn Iran on what he said is an attempt to harm the “freedom of navigation and global commerce” in the Persian Gulf area.
Last month, Iran shot down a U.S. drone that it said was flying over Iran. Trump chose to cancel a planned airstrike at the last minute.
Iran seized a tanker
Earlier on Thursday, Iran’s state television said the country’s Revolutionary Guard forces had seized a foreign oil tanker in the area on Sunday.
It did not identify the seized tanker or nationalities of the crew. It said the tanker had 12 foreign crew members on board. It accused the crew of being involved in trying to secretly take about 1 million liters of fuel out of Iran.
The seized tanker appears to be the MT Riah. It is based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) but flies a flag from the country of Panama.
Last Sunday, the tanker stopped sending its location near Qeshm Island, which has a Revolutionary Guard base on it. The UAE's foreign ministry released statements this week denying that it owns or operates the ship.
The seizure was the latest in a series of developments in the area. Last week, a British navy warship warned Iranian Revolutionary Guard ships against interfering with the passage of a British oil tanker.
That came after British forces helped seize an Iranian supertanker off Gibraltar, a British territory at the southern tip of Spain.
In May, two Emirati oil tankers were among four tankers attacked in acts of sabotage that the U.S. has blamed on Iran.
And last month saw two other attacks on oil vessels. Iran denies involvement in any of the attacks.
Susan Shand and Hai Do adapted this story for VOA Learning English with information from the Associated Press and Reuters. Ashley Thompson was the editor.
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Words in This Story
global - adj. involving the entire world
commerce - n. activities related to buying and selling of goods and services
location - n. a place or position
tip - n. the end of something that is long and thin