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Iranian foreign minister denies Iran's involvement in Red Sea drone attack

Iran foreign minister addresses militant attacks
Iranian foreign minister addresses militant group attacks on U.S. forces in Iraq, Syria 02:08

Geneva — Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian denied that his country was responsible for a drone attack in the Red Sea that appeared to be targeting a U.S. missile destroyer.

The drone, which originated from Yemen, was shot down early Wednesday morning by the USS Thomas Hudner as it was "heading in the direction of the ship," according to a statement from the Pentagon.  

"We really didn't want this crisis to expand," Amir-Abdollahian told CBS News on Wednesday, referencing the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. "But the U.S. has been intensifying the war in Gaza by throwing its support behind Israel. Yemen makes its own decisions and acts independently." 

The Pentagon did not say who it believes fired the drone, but the incident comes after Iranian-backed Houthis militants in Yemen earlier this week vowed to attack ships in the Red Sea.

Iran is also a backer of Hamas, and the U.S. says that makes it complicit in the Oct. 7 attacks on Israel. The minister told CBS News that Hamas' attacks were a response to 75 years of Israeli occupation.

"What Hamas did was based on its legitimate right to defend itself," said Amir-Abdollahian when asked if it was his position that the Hamas assault, in which at least 1,200 people in Israel were killed and more than 200 were believed to be taken hostage, was justified.

"As I said, we are opposed to killing women and children everywhere," Amir-Abdollahian added.

On Oct. 19, the USS Carney intercepted three missiles in the Red Sea that were fired from Yemen and appeared to be headed toward Israel.

"These groups in Iraq and Syria, that are attacking U.S. interests, have made their own decisions," Amir-Abdollahian told CBS News when pushed on whether Iran backs militant groups in the Middle East.

The U.S. has conducted two strikes on Iran-linked weapons storage facilities in eastern Syria in retaliation for dozens of attacks by militant groups on U.S. military forces in Iraq and Syria since mid-October.

The U.S. and Iran both say they want to stop the Israel-Hamas war from spreading. But that is about all they agree on.

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