The Latest: Iran says US did not intercept drones

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The Latest on tensions in the Persian Gulf (all times local):

12:15 p.m.

Iran has again denied that any of its drones were intercepted after the U.S. military said it took aim at two of them last week.

U.S. Central Command said Tuesday that one Iranian drone crashed into the sea after the USS Boxer took what Central Command called "defensive action" against it last Thursday. It said the Boxer also "engaged" a second Iranian drone at the same time, but could not confirm it was destroyed.

Iran's defense minister, Gen. Amir Hatami, told reporters Wednesday that "if someone claims he should provide evidence," adding that "none of our drones have been intercepted."

He says that when Iran shot down a U.S. drone last month it shared images of the wreckage to verify it.

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11:20 a.m.

A large British-flagged vessel has transited the Strait of Hormuz in the first such passage made by a British ship since Iran seized a U.K.-flagged tanker last week.

Maritime publication Lloyd's List identified the vessel as BW Elm and reported that British warship HMS Montrose closely shadowed the vessel but did not provide a direct escort. The Royal Navy could not immediately be reached for comment.

Data on tracking site Marine Traffic showed the commercial ship arrived at a port in Qatar early Wednesday after transiting the strait.

In a statement to the AP, the ship's owner BW LPG declined to comment on specifics, but said the company "is grateful for the U.K. and international community for their naval presence" providing security to ships in the area.

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