Iran threatened to shoot down US Navy EP-3 and P-8 aircraft over the weekend as they were flying in the northern Persian Gulf, a US military official has claimed.
The US military planes were flying in international airspace but "near Iranian airspace,” CNN reported on Tuesday.
According to the unnamed official, Iranian naval forces warned the aircraft not to enter the country’s airspace and risk being shot down by Iranian missiles.
The planes finally did not enter Iranian airspace and proceeded without untoward incident.
Last week, the Pentagon claimed that an American warship patrolling in the central Persian Gulf changed its course after a speedboat operated by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) came within 100 yards (91 meters) of it.
Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said on September 6 that the Iranian vessel had sailed directly in front of the USS Firebolt.
A US military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, also claimed the interaction was “unsafe,” according to the report.
However, days after Iran's chief Armed Forces spokesman dismissed US claims as false that the American warship patrolling the Persian Gulf was harassed by Iranian boats, saying the Islamic Republic’s naval forces act according to international law.
“Vessels belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran are fully aware of international rules and regulations and have always acted based on defined norms,” Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, Deputy Chief of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces, said on Sunday.
“Therefore the [American] claims are not only untrue, but stem from their fear of the power of the Islamic Republic’s forces,” he added.
“In the pursuit of its interests and in accordance with established marine principles, the Islamic Republic of Iran will never be swayed by any power,” he stated.