Sea Hunter medium displacement unmanned surface vessel. (Photo credit: US Navy).
Despite being in talks to pursue a nuclear deal, military tensions between the US and Iran continue to run high in the Persian Gulf. On 2 September, the Iranian Navy documented seizing two US maritime drones in the Red Sea.
For the second time this week, the US pushed Iran to release its captured military sail drones on Friday, which are part of a larger scheme by Washington to build an anti-Iran “drone fleet” in Gulf waters.
According to Iranian media, the Iranian Navy released the two US maritime drones after contact was made with US forces. They claimed the drones were jeopardizing the safety of sea routes.
“The [Iranian navy] frigate Jamaran seized the two vessels on Thursday to prevent any possible accident after issuing warnings to the US fleet. After international shipping lanes were secured, the two vessels were released in a safe area,” Iranian media reported.
The Iranian ship released the two US drones in a “safe area” to make sure it would allow “establishing naval security.” US forces, present at the release, then retrieved their property.
According to a statement released by the US Navy, the USS Nitze and USS Delbert D. Black destroyers remained near the Iranian warship, communicating with it “to deescalate the situation and recover the seized Saildrones.”
The US and allied media have been trying to portray the incidents as an unprovoked attempt by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGC-N) to “seize” the drones.
According to Reuters, a US defense official spoke on “condition of anonymity” and reportedly would have suggested that the Iranian seized the drones, pulled them out of the water and covered them with tarps.
The Reuters article then goes to speculate that Iran would be seizing the US drones “in an attempt to copy them.”
Nour News, a website close to the Iranian Supreme National Security Council (SNSC), reported the incident but dismissed the US Navy’s “Hollywoodesque narrative” as an attempt to “cover up some of its failures” against Iranian naval forces in the Persian Gulf.