Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard was caught trying to steal an American sea drone, the US Navy said Tuesday.
A Revolutionary Guard support ship, the Shahid Baziar, was discovered Tuesday towing a US Navy Saildrone in the Persian Gulf, according to Cmdr. Timothy Hawkins, a spokesperson for the Navy’s 5th Fleet.
A Navy coastal patrol boat, the USS Thunderbolt, as well as a MH-60 Seahawk Helicopter responded, moving to intercept the high-sea theft and reach the Shahid Baziar on the radio.
“Our response was one that as such made clear that this was US government property and was operating in international waters and that we had every intention to take action if necessary,” the commander told The Associated Press.
A video released by the Navy shows the Shahid Bazair towing the small drone with the Thunderbolt in pursuit.
Hawkins said the incident resolved peacefully after four hours, with the Iranians un-hooking the Saildrone and leaving the area.
The Saildrone Explorer, an uncrewed, wind-powered vessel, carries cameras, radars and sensors for remotely monitoring the sea, the commander said.
The Saildrone in Tuesday’s incident is part of the 5th Fleet’s unmanned Task Force 59.
Iran’s semi-official Tasnim news agency reported without providing evidence that the drone had been a danger to commercial shipping in the gulf.
It called the US account of the incident “a Hollywood narrative and contrary to the truth.”
With Post wires