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Iran says it shot down infiltrator drone near key port – not one of ours, US responds

Iranian air defense forces have shot down a foreign drone near the port city of Mahshahr, Iranian media reported, showing alleged footage of the intercept as proof. The US Central Command said it didn’t lose any of its UAVs.

The drone was taken down on Friday by an Iran-developed Mersad surface-to-air missile, the Iranian Mehr news agency reported. Alleged footage of the takedown released by the Iranian side showed a missile being fired, followed by an explosion.

Gholamreza Shariati, the governor of the Khuzestan province where Mahshahr is located, said a wreck of the drone was recovered from the marshlands in the suburbs of the city.

The Iranian official said the aircraft “definitely belonged to a foreign country”, but would not say which.

Responding to the news, the US Central Command stated that none of the drones operated by the US military had been lost. Israel, another party that could fly a surveillance UAV inside Iranian airspace, declined to comment on the incident.

Iran’s Revolutionary guard shot down a sophisticated US drone in June. Tehran and Washington disputed whether the aircraft had violated Iran’s border, which was what Iran stated, or was destroyed illegally in international airspace.

The incident comes amid a period of high tension in the Middle East, as the US continues its so-called “maximum pressure campaign” to cripple the Iranian government through unilateral sanctions, arm-twisting of its trade partners and military brinkmanship.