The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) allegedly flew a drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and captured images of it, a new report says.
Tasnim News Agency released the report on Saturday along with the video of a drone taking off, along with video and images taken from the drone, though the date of the images has not been revealed.
The video identifies the drone as the Ababil-3, which can fly for eight hours at a 12,000-foot altitude and a range of 155 miles. The video shows the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower with fighter planes on deck, and another nearby U.S. warship sailing the Persian Gulf.
The U.S. Navy says the video is several years old.
Lt. Chloe Morgan, a U.S. Naval Forces Central Command spokesperson, told the Navy Times that the Eisenhower hasn’t sailed the Persian Gulf since 2016.
Around the same time, Iran took a similar video of the USS Harry Truman while it was in the Persian Gulf and participating in airstrike operations against ISIS in Syria.
— Al Jazeera English (@AJEnglish) April 27, 2019
The video’s release comes just three weeks after the Trump Administration designated the IRGC as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO).
“This unprecedented step, led by the Department of State, recognizes the reality that Iran is not only a State Sponsor of Terrorism, but that the IRGC actively participates in, finances and promotes terrorism as a tool of statecraft,” Trump said. “The IRGC is the Iranian government’s primary means of directing and implementing its global terrorist campaign.”
“This action sends a clear message to Tehran that its support for terrorism has serious consequences. We will continue to increase financial pressure and raise the costs on the Iran regime for its support of terrorist activity until it abandons its malign and outlaw behavior,” he added.
Some of those consequences came a few weeks later in the form of removing exemptions for countries that previously could freely export Iran’s oil without U.S. sanctions. It was the latest step in the Trump Administration’s goal of reducing Iran oil exports to zero.
In response, Iran has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a vital oil shipping channel that hosts transport of 20 percent of the world’s oil trade.
“If we are prevented from using it, we will close it,” head of the Revolutionary Guard Corps navy force Gen. Alireza Tangsiri told the state-run Fars News Agency, Bloomberg reported Monday. “In the event of any threats, we will not have the slightest hesitation to protect and defend Iran’s waterway.”