Jane Oyanga-Omara — USA Today Jan 29, 2016
Iran flew a surveillance drone over a U.S. aircraft carrier and took photographs of it as part of a naval drill, Iranian state TV reported Friday.
The report did not say when the incident happened, name the U.S. vessel or show any of the reported images. The state-run IRNA news agency said an Iranian light submarine closely participated in the surveillance operation.
Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, declined to comment on the report.
“I can say that we are confident in the ability of U.S. naval forces operating in the region to respond appropriately as the situation dictates, and will exercise our right to defend our forces against any threat,” he said.
The USS Harry S. Truman is in the Persian Gulf to aid the fight against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Iranian state TV also said Iran’s navy successfully fired surface-to-surface Noor cruise missiles during the drill.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani arrived back in Tehran on Friday from a five-day visit to Europe where billions of dollars worth of trade deals were signed between Iran and Italian and French companies.
It followed the lifting of many international economic sanctions on Jan. 16 after a landmark deal with the United States and five other world powers in July to curb Iran’s nuclear program in return for an end to sanctions.
On Jan. 17, the U.S implemented sanctions against 11 people and companies involved in Iran’s ballistic missile program, just one day after President Obama lifted sanctions based on the nuclear program.