Iran and the US both deny any intent to go to war but make it clear that acts of aggression will not be tolerated.
By Morgan Hekking
Rabat – An American military drone has been shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard (IRGC), sparking concern that a major military confrontation may be on the horizon.
Tehran argues that the surveillance aircraft, a MQ-4C Triton, was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile after flying into Iranian airspace. Meanwhile, US officials maintain that the drone was shot down in international territory. The two alternate reports of the event have not been reconciled.
Iran’s Foreign Ministry has condemned the “violation of Iran’s borders” and warned “of the consequences of such illegal and provocative measures.” Conversely, US Navy Captain Bill Urban asserted that “no US aircraft were operating in Iranian airspace” on Thursday.
The US drone was shot down near the Strait of Hormuz, where two oil tankers were attacked on June 12, allegedly by Iran. Iran has denied responsibility for the attacks on the oil tankers, as well as similar attacks in the area that occurred on May 12.
Although US President Donald Trump has recently deployed troops, aircraft carriers, and B-52 bombers to the Middle East, he insists that he does not seek war with Iran. The US State Department has sent Brain Hook, the US Special Representative for Iran, to discuss “Iran’s regional aggression” with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The shootdown sent “a clear message” to the US. Iran does “not have any intention for war with any country, but we are ready for war,” said the commander of IRGC. “Borders are our red line. Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.”