Jun 20, 2019
This story may be updated...
Iran said it shot down a U.S. "spy" drone on Thursday after the aircraft entered Iranian airspace over the southern province of Hormozgan.
"Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran."
--Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami
"U.S. drone intrusion to the Iranian airspace is clear violation of the U.N. Charter and national sovereignty of the country," Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a top Iranian national security official, said in a statement.
Abbas Mousavi, spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, said any "violation[s] of Iran's borders are strongly condemned."
"We warn of the consequences of such illegal and provocative measures," Mousavi added.
\u201cThe Iranian media reports that the drone was shot down inside Iranian territory. \n\nIF this is true, what was a US military drone doing inside Iranian airspace, particularly when tensions already are so high?\u201d— Trita Parsi (@Trita Parsi) 1561001284
The U.S. confirmed that an American drone was downed but denied that it violated Iranian airspace.
"There was no drone over Iranian territory," Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. Central Command, toldThe Associated Press.
U.S. military officials claimed the drone was operating in international airspace when it was shot down, Gizmodoreported.
The incident comes amid dangerous military tensions between the U.S. and Iran, as the Trump administration attempts--on the basis of flimsy evidence--to blame the Iranians for attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week.
As Common Dreamsreported, the Trump administration is paving the way behind the scenes to launch an attack on Iran without congressional approval, sparking alarm and opposition from progressive lawmakers.
Maj. Gen. Hossein Salami, chief commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, said the "downing of the American drone was a clear message to America."
"Our borders are Iran's red line and we will react strongly against any aggression," Salami said. "Iran is not seeking war with any country, but we are fully prepared to defend Iran."
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