President Donald Trump has tweeted that Iran made “a very big mistake” in downing a US drone flying in international airspace, extending oil prices’ gains.
The MQ-4C Triton drone was shot down over the Strait of Hormuz, south of Iran, according to Reuters.
Read more: Oil prices surge after Iran downs US drone
Reacting to the escalating tensions between the two countries this afternoon, Trump tweeted: “Iran made a very big mistake!”
Iran’s state-run news agency, IRNA, had reported that Iranian military had shot down a US “spy” drone that entered Iran’s airspace, identifying it as an RQ-4 Global Hawk.
The US denied that any US aircraft were flying over Iran.
The diplomatic incident sent oil prices soaring, with the price of Brent crude up 3.7 per cent to $61.13 per barrel.
WTI Crude reached $56.62 per barrel, a 4.9 per cent price hike.
“Oil has extended gains on this response from the White House, which sounds quite belligerent,” Neil Wilson, chief analyst at Markets.com, said.
“Oil has risen to its best in three weeks and now looks to have moved out of its bottoming formation.”
He added: “This is probably sabre rattling but there is risk of escalation that is being reflected in oil prices.”
The attack follows alleged Iranian assaults on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week that saw the two ships set on fire.
In response, the US released footage it said showed Iran’s Revolutionary Guard removing an unexploded mine from one of the oil tankers.
The US called the apparent move “a clear threat to international freedom of navigation and freedom of commerce”.