WASHINGTON DC – Jun 20, 2019 – The US military has confirmed that their surveillance drone has been shot down by Iranian forces while flying over what they claim was the Strait of Hormuz.
Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), to the contrary, said the drone had violated Iranian airspace. Given that Iran has been actively looking to avoid a confrontation, and the US has meanwhile indicated a desire for such a pretext, the Iranian claims bear closer resemblance to what is likely to have transpired.
IRGC commander-in-chief Maj-Gen Hossein Salami said the downing of the drone sent a “clear message to America” that crossing Iran’s borders was its “red line”.
It comes at a time of escalating tensions between the two countries, provoked by an apparently misguided policy directed by Israel, which has only seen Iran better able to strengthen its cultural independence from western capital vectors, while simultaneously concretizing its military alliance with Russia.
On Monday, the US defense department said it was deploying 1,000 extra troops to the region in response to “hostile behaviour” by Iranian forces. Tehran insists that actions against hostile foreign military drones over its own airspace are of a defensive nature, not hostile.
The US has also accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers with mines last Thursday, including one operated by the Japanese just outside the Strait of Hormuz, in the Gulf of Oman. Iran rejects the allegation, as does Japan.
It was the second time in a month tankers have been attacked close in the region, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes each day. Experts around the world are generally of the view that Iran had no cause or reason to attack said tankers. Meanwhile it has been pointed out that the US has repeatedly made its intention towards military action against Iran a desirability.
Iran has responded to western stoked tensions on Monday when it announced its stockpile of low-enriched uranium would next week exceed limits it agreed to with world powers under a landmark nuclear deal in 2015, the JCPOA, as these world powers have themselves not held up their part of the deal which includes the end of sanctions and the development of bilateral trade agreements. The US unilaterally backed out of the deal a year ago, and European leaders have affirmed the deal in language, but have not executed its provisions in practice. Iran has responded accordingly and with apparent diligence to this matter.