Pentagon Press Secretary George Little said that Iranian warplanes fired on an unarmed U.S. drone in the Persian Gulf on Nov. 1.
According to Reuters, Little said the MQ1 Predator drone, which returned safely to its base, was in international waters at the time. Reuters adds:
“President Barack Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta were both advised early on about the incident, which occurred at about 4:50 a.m. ET on November 1. Iran was later warned that the United States would continue to conduct such surveillance flights in the region and that the military would protect its assets.”
CNN first reported the incident earlier today. The network says that the United States “protested the incident” but Iran has not responded. The U.S. told Iran that it intended to continue flying its drones in the area.
Fox News reports Little said the U.S. has “a wide range of options from diplomatic to military.” The administration also announced it was imposing a new round of economic sanctions.
In December of last year, the Iranians claimed to have shot down a U.S. drone. They published pictures of it and the U.S. asked Iran to return it. The U.S. said the drone crashed, not shot down.