Iran flew an unarmed drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took "precise" photographs during a naval drill in the Persian Gulf, Iranian state media said.
Iranian state television and the semiofficial Fars news agency published identical images Friday that both said came from the drone. The images showed an unnamed aircraft carrier.
The Iranian reports suggested the images were from Friday. But U.S. Navy spokesman Commander Kevin Stephens said an unarmed Iranian drone flew near the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle and "directly over'' the USS Harry S. Truman on January 12 as the vessels were sailing in international waters in the Persian Gulf.
Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, chief of Iran's naval forces, told state TV that the maneuver was a sign of the "bravery, experience and the scientific capabilities of our drone operators."
If the U.S. timeline is correct, the drone flight took place the same day that Iran seized 10 American sailors whose boats had strayed into Iranian waters. The sailors were released the next day.