USS Harry S. Truman (illustration)
USS Harry S. Truman (illustration)Reuters

Iranian state TV on Friday gloatingly claimed that an Iranian surveillance drone flew over an American aircraft carrier and photographed it during recent naval drills.

The TV report did not specify when the fly-by happened, did not name the US vessel, and did not even show any of the alleged images, reports Associated Press.

Iran's state-run IRNA said that an Iranian light submarine also was closely involved in the surveillance operation.

Commander Kevin Stephens, a spokesperson for the Bahrain-based US Navy 5th Fleet, declined to respond to the report.

"I can say that we are confident in the ability of U.S. naval forces operating in the region to respond appropriately as the situation dictates, and will exercise our right to defend our forces against any threat,” he said.

The incident comes just weeks after ten US sailors were abducted by Iran, following a technical malfunction that caused them to enter Iranian waters. Tehran said that in the tense stand off that followed it had rockets locked onto US ships ready to blow them out of the water.

Currently the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier is stationed in the Persian Gulf to help in the campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria.

Iranian state TV also said Iran's navy successfully tested surface-to-surface Noor cruise missiles and unveiled a new radar system during the drill.

The incident comes as Iranian President Hassan Rouhani returned to Iran on Friday after a five-day visit to Europe, where he signed billions of dollars worth of trade deals with Italian and French companies following the lifting of sanctions in the controversial nuclear deal.

US Secretary of State John Kerry last Thursday admitted part of the massive sanctions relief windfall will go to terror.

Even as the nuclear sanctions were lifted, the US last Sunday imposed new sanctions on Iran's ballistic missile program over Iranian breaches in recent missile tests, and in response Tehran vowed to defy the sanctions.

The report on Iran spying on the US with a drone comes the same Friday that a revelation was made from documents released by National Security Agency (NSA) whistle-blower Edward Snowden, showing the US and UK have been infiltrating Israeli intelligence drones on sensitive missions throughout the region for the past 18 years.