TEHRAN (Reuters) – Iran’s armed forces chief said a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft had tried to approach Iranian naval maneuvers, but was warned by the Iranian military to leave, Fars News Agency reported on Tuesday.
The incident happened on Monday, the semi-official news agency said. Iran’s navy last week launched eight days of exercises in the Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, in a region crucial for global oil supplies.
“A U.S. reconnaissance aircraft which had intended to approach our operational war games left … upon the timely warning of our air defense forces,” Fars quoted army commander Ataollah Salehi as saying.
He was speaking to reporters as the military test-fired two surface-to-sea missiles in the Gulf of Oman, it added.
Iran’s latest maneuvers coincide with rising tension between Iran and the West, which says Tehran’s nuclear work is aimed at making bombs. Iran denies this.
The United States is pushing for a fourth round of U.N. sanctions on Tehran over its refusal to halt sensitive nuclear activities as demanded by the U.N. Security Council.
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates last week said Iran was challenging U.S. naval power in the Middle East with an array of offensive and defensive weapons.