Iran denies Trump’s claim about drone
by Lynde Langdon
Posted 7/19/19, 10:15 am
UPDATE: The Iranian military said Friday that all its drones had returned safely to their bases the previous day, contradicting a claim by President Donald Trump that a U.S. warship destroyed an unmanned Iranian aircraft Thursday. “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else,” tweeted Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi. “I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own [drone] by mistake!” Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone. CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down rather than hitting it with a missile.
OUR EARLIER REPORT (7/18/19, 4:44 p.m.): A U.S. warship on Thursday shot down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship, President Donald Trump said. In remarks at the White House, the president said Iran took “provocative and hostile” action, and the United States responded in self-defense. Trump said the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, defended itself after the Iranian aircraft came within 1,000 yards and ignored multiple calls to stand down. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran’s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce,” he said.
Last month, Iran downed a U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz, and Trump called off a retaliatory airstrike after deciding it was “not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.” Tensions have been on the rise between Iran and the United States since Trump withdrew from a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers last year and reimposed sanctions on Iran. Last week, Iran exceeded the 2015 nuclear deal’s limits on the size of its low-enriched uranium stockpile and its uranium enrichment level. This week, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard seized a United Arab Emirates–based, Panamanian-flagged oil tanker and 12 crew members in the Strait of Hormuz.
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