Iran shoots down U.S. drone, brings both countries closer to war
dpa, Hamburg, Germany
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed Thursday it had shot down a US drone over its territory, amid heightened tensions between Tehran and Washington.
The RQ-4 “Global Hawk” drone was shot down in Iranian airspace above Hormozgan province in the country’s south, the IRGC said in a statement.
The province, which lies on the Persian Gulf, is considered by some observers to be the possible site of a military confrontation between the rival countries as the sides clash over Iran’s nuclear programme.
On Wednesday, Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said there was “no reason at all for a war, because US allegations against other countries are a known tactic used to exert pressure worldwide,” the official IRNA news agency reported.
The US is waging an “economic war” against the Iranian people, Shamkhani added.
Washington last year unilaterally withdrew from the Iran agreement, which was aimed at preventing Tehran from acquiring a nuclear arsenal.
Washington’s decision to begin implementing oil and banking sanctions has crippled Iran’s economy and placed the deal’s European signatories under pressure.
Iran said Monday that it was preparing to enrich uranium to higher grades than allowed by its nuclear deal with global powers.
The US and its allies Saudi Arabia and Britain have meanwhile accused Iran of attacking two tankers in the Gulf of Oman with mines last week.
The US has said it will send an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in the wake of the attacks. Iran has denied any involvement.
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