Iranian government officials released photographs on Friday morning of what they said were fragments of the high-altitude surveillance drone retrieved from Iranian territorial waters. Iran continued to insist it shot the drone down after it violated the country’s airspace.
To bolster its claims, Iran had released video late Thursday of what it said was the moment the drone was shot down. A top Iranian commander also claimed on Twitter on Friday that a second American aircraft — a surveillance plane capable of carrying 35 passengers and crew members — had violated Iranian airspace. But he said the Iranian military chose not to shoot it down.
.. But a senior Trump administration official said there was concern inside the United States government about whether the drone, or another American surveillance aircraft, or even the P-8A manned aircraft flown by a military aircrew, actually did violate Iranian airspace at some point. The official said the doubt was one of the reasons Mr. Trump called off the strike.
.. Mr. Trump, the experts said, has given hard-liners in Iran reason to support retaliation against the United States. They cited the recent attacks on oil tankers in waters near Iran.