In a report on Tuesday evening, Nournews said the IRGC Navy moved, in a timely action, to take control of the vessel, whose “navigational communications had been cut off,” by a support vessel and began to tow it.
The measure, the report said, was meant to prevent a maritime accident and keeping the shipping lines secure.
The vessel was later released upon a decision by the commander of the Iranian support ship when a US patrol ship arrived at the scene and was briefed over security risks, it added.
In a statement late on Monday, the US Central Command’s 5th Fleet claimed the IRGC forces released the naval drone only when the Americans sent the USS Thunderbolt coastal patrol ship, which was operating nearby, and an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter to the scene.
Meanwhile, an Iranian military official told Nournews anonymously that the US military’s practice of sailing unmanned military vessels in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman under the cover of “research” is endangering shipping in the bodies of water.
The official said that the practice threatened the security of shipping lines and had already led to maritime incidents.
“As in the past, we will not be indifferent to acts that cause insecurity in the region, and, to prevent any kind of insecurity and instability, we will continue our legal obligations in the form of missions inherently to protect and secure shipping lines,” he said.