Iran says its Revolutionary Guard has shot down USA drone

Iran says its Revolutionary Guard has shot down USA drone

Iran says its Revolutionary Guard has shot down USA drone

Iran's Revolutionary Guard today said it shot down a United States drone amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington over its collapsing nuclear deal.

The US and its regional allies - Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - have pointed fingers of blame at Tehran, which has denied the allegations as "baseless".

IRNA, citing the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard, identified the drone as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.

All this has raised fears that a miscalculation or further rise in tensions could push the USA and Iran into an open conflict, some 40 years after Tehran's Islamic Revolution.

The reported shoot-down of the RQ-4 Global Hawk comes after the USA military previously alleged Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman.

The US military have declined to comment on the claims.

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

The US military has not confirmed if a drone was hit, but a spokesman denied its aircraft were in Iranian airspace.

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Two oil tankers were attacked on the strategic Hormuz Strait.

Meanwhile, US Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook heading to the Middle East for meetings in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Kuwait and Bahrain to discuss "Iran's regional aggression", the State Department said.

Iran claimed the drone had entered its airspace - resulting in it being shot down.

"He will also share additional U.S. intelligence on the range of active threats Iran now poses to the region", the department said in a statement.

Tensions were further fuelled on Monday when Iran said its stockpile of low-enriched uranium would next week exceed limits it agreed with global powers in 2015. Europe has called for preserving the 2015 nuclear deal.

It comes days after the Pentagon said it was deploying 1,000 extra troops to the region in response to "hostile behaviour" by Iranian forces.

President Donald Trump appeared convinced the Islamic Republic was behind the attack and said it had "Iran written all over it".

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