Iran accuses US of provocation

Iran's UN Ambassador claims downed US drone entered Iranian airspace despite warnings not to do so.

Elad Benari,

US drone being shot down over Strait of Hormuz
US drone being shot down over Strait of Hormuz
Reuters

Iran on Thursday accused the United States of “a very dangerous and provocative act” and urged the international community to demand that the US end its unlawful actions and drone spying, The Associated Press reports.

In a letter to the UN Secretary General and the Security Council after the Islamic Republic downed a US drone, Iran’s UN Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said a US drone entered Iranian airspace despite repeated radio warnings.

The drone, claimed the Iranian Ambassador, conducted “an overflight through the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar port in a full stealth mode as it had turned off its identification equipment and engaged in a clear spying operation.”

Ravanchi said that according to Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff after the “US unmanned aircraft system” entered Iranian airspace its air defense system targeted “the intruding aircraft.”

He said Iran acted under Article 51 of the UN Charter which allows military action in self-defense.

US officials have denied that the drone had entered Iranian airspace and stated that the drone was shot down in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.

President Donald Trump tweeted Thursday that Iran “made a very big mistake!” in shooting down the American drone.

The shooting down of the American drone comes amid heightened tensions between the Islamic Republic and the US. On Wednesday, the Pentagon said that the latest deployment of 1,000 additional troops to the Middle East, announced earlier this week, will include a Patriot missile battalion, manned and unmanned surveillance aircraft and “other deterrence capabilities.”

“The United States does not seek conflict with Iran, but we are postured and ready to defend US forces and interests in the region,” a Pentagon spokeswoman said in a statement.

The US deployment was announced by the Pentagon following last week’s attacks on two tankers as they were passing through the Gulf of Oman.

Trump has said the twin attacks had Iran "written all over it", rejecting Tehran's vehement denial.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo similarly accused Iran of being behind the attacks in the Gulf of Oman. Iran's parliament speaker, meanwhile, hinted that Washington could be behind the tanker attacks in an attempt to pile pressure on Tehran.




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