Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard successfully managed a surveillance flight over a U.S. aircraft carrier, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported Saturday.
The report included footage apparently from a Guard drone that flew over the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and another U.S. warship in the Persian Gulf. The images show fighter planes parked on the carrier deck.
Tasnim did not say when the footage was shot.
— Tasnim News Agency (@Tasnimnews_EN) April 27, 2019
The development comes after the U.S. government earlier this month designated the Guard as a terrorist group to increase pressure on Iran and further isolate the country. Iran responded by labelling all U.S. forces as terrorists.
Lt. Chloe J. Morgan, a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesperson, said in an email that the Eisenhower has not been in the Persian Gulf since 2016. She said the U.S. and its allies are committed to freedom of navigation in the Strait of Hormuz.
The strait, which sees nearly a third of all oil traded by sea pass through it, has been the scene of past confrontations between the U.S. and Iran, including a one-day naval battle in 1988.
In recent years, the U.S. Navy has accused Iranian patrol boats of harassing American warships in the waterway.
The drone that took the footage is an Ababil-3 with an eight-hour flight capability at 12,000 feet (3,658 meters) and a 250-kilometre (155-mile) range.
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