US drones “changed their route” after approaching Iran’s borders where military forces were carrying out annual exercises.

Iran’s annual exercises concluded a few weeks before resumption of talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.
Iran’s annual exercises concluded a few weeks before resumption of talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal. (AFP)

Iran's military has warned off US drones trying to approach Iranian war games near the mouth of the Gulf.

The US drones “changed their route” after approaching Iran’s borders “following the air defence's interception and decisive warning,” reported state broadcaster IRIB on Tuesday.

The official IRNA news agency also reported the incident, saying the unmanned US aircraft entered "two Iranian air defence identification zones... and changed course after air defence warned them it had decided to intercept them."

Neither source gave a date for the incident, but both said it involved one MQ-9 Reaper drone and one RQ4+ Global Hawk.

Iran’s annual exercises concluded on Tuesday, a few weeks before resumption of talks between Tehran and world powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal.

The exercises stretched from the east of the Strait of Hormuz to the north of the Indian Ocean and parts of the Red Sea. 

About a fifth of oil that is consumed globally passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway in the Gulf.

READ MORE: The politics of military manoeuvres in the Middle East

Iran, US confrontations

Periodic confrontations have taken place between Iran’s military and US forces in the Gulf since 2018.

Tensions began when former US President Donald Trump exited the nuclear pact and reimposed harsh sanctions against Tehran.

Iran has reacted by breaching the deal's limits on its nuclear programme.

Indirect talks between Iran and US President Joe Biden's administration to revive the pact are set to resume in Vienna on November 29. 

Talks had been put on hold since the election of Iran's hardline President Ebrahim Raisi in June.

READ MORE: The Iran nuclear deal may soon become Biden’s second major failure

Source: Reuters