Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu urged "peace-loving countries" to back the US in the crisis with Iran after Islamic Republic shot down a US spy drone. Picture: Reuters/Ammar Awad

Jerusalem - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday urged "peace-loving countries" to back the United States in the latest crisis with Iran after the Islamic Republic shot down a US spy drone.

"In the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us," Netanyahu said in a statement released by his office.

"I repeat my call for all peace-loving countries to stand by the United States in its effort to stop Iranian aggression. Israel stands by the United States on this."

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said it had brought down the unmanned Global Hawk surveillance aircraft as it was "violating Iranian air space" near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, adding that the craft had entered its territorial waters.

The Pentagon confirmed a US surveillance drone was shot down by Iranian forces, but insisted it was in international airspace.

The incident comes at a time of growing antagonism between Iran and the United States following two waves of still unexplained attacks on Gulf shipping, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.

Iran denies involvement.