Iran has denied claims by US President Donald Trump that a US warship destroyed an Iranian drone operating in the Strait of Hormuz.

The president said the drone was flying near USS Boxer on Thursday when the ship opened fire on it.

“The drone was immediately destroyed,” Trump told reporters at the White House.

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters. The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests,” he added.

Iran’s top military spokesman said on Friday that all the country’s drones had returned safely to base, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.

“All drones belonging to Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz… returned safely to their bases after their mission of identification and control, and there is no report of any operational response by USS Boxer,” Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior armed forces spokesman, was quoted as saying by Tasnim.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi also denied on Friday that Iran had lost a drone.

“We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS [Unmanned Aerial System] by mistake!,” Araqchi said on Twitter.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Thursday he was not aware of any downing of an Iranian drone.

“We have no information about losing a drone today,” Zarif told reporters at the United Nations before a meeting with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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