US drone: Trump says Iran made a ‘very bad mistake’

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Iran “made a very big mistake” in shooting down a US military surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump says.

However, he told reporters it could have been the result of human error, saying: “I find it hard to believe it was intentional.”

Iran said the drone had violated Iranian airspace, but the US military denied this.

The incident comes amid escalating tension between the two countries.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said Iran would take its complaint that the US “encroaches on our territory” to the UN.

Iran’s UN ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi said the drone was engaged in a clear spying operation in what he called a blatant violation of international law.

In a letter to the UN secretary-general and the Security Council, Mr Ravanchi said that while Iran was not seeking war, it reserved the right to to defend its territory against hostile acts.

What other reaction has there been?

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has warned that war between the US and Iran would be a “catastrophe with unpredictable consequences”.

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint.

In the US, Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the US had no appetite for war with Iran, while the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, Joe Biden, called Mr Trump’s Iran strategy a “self-inflicted disaster”.

The top Democrat in the US Senate, Chuck Schumer, said: “The president may not intend to go to war here, but we’re worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war.”

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The Republicans’ leader in the House, Kevin McCarthy, called for a “measured response” to the incident.

Meanwhile Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told the BBC his country was trying to send a message to Iran that its behaviour was “not acceptable”.

“Nobody wants to start a war. But we can’t let Iran go on a rampage like this. The evidence of Iranian involvement is very compelling. They said they would do it, and now they are doing it,” he said.

Oil prices have jumped by about 5% following the incident.

United Airlines has suspended its Newark to Mumbai flights, which pass through Iranian airspace, after “a thorough safety and security review”.

What happened on Thursday?

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said its air force had shot down a US “spy” drone in the early hours after the unmanned aircraft violated Iranian airspace near Kuhmobarak in the southern province of Hormozgan.

In a speech on Iranian state TV, IRGC commander-in-chief Maj-Gen Hossein Salami said the drone’s downing was a “clear message” to the US that Iran’s borders were “our red line”.

Foreign minister Javad Zarif later said Iran had retrieved sections of the US military drone “in our territorial waters where it was shot down”. He added that the aircraft had taken off from the UAE in “stealth mode”.

Iran released unverified footage of what it said was the US drone being destroyed.

“Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” spokesman Navy Capt Bill Urban said. “This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset in international airspace.”

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Lt Gen Joseph Guastella, Commander of US Air Forces Central Command, later said the drone had been operating at high altitude and was about 34km from the nearest point on the Iranian coast when it was shot down.

US naval assets have been dispatched to the drone debris field in international waters, a US source told Reuters.

The BAMS-D is a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude, Long, Endurance (HALE) drone that can carry out surveillance and reconnaissance missions over vast ocean and coastal regions, according to the US military.

Source: BBC News

About Emmanuel Ebimoh 461 Articles
Emmanuel Ebimoh is a Writer, Poet, Editor, and Football Enthusiast. He writes from Lagos, Nigeria. You can reach him on emmyebimoh@gmail.com

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