Iran shoots US drone down, escalating tensions — The Guardians of the Revolution, the elite corps of Iran’s army, announced that they had shot down an “American spy drone” that had violated the airspace of the Islamic Republic on Thursday, according to Iranian state television.
The defense system “toppled an American spy drone that had infiltrated the coastal province of Hormozgan in the south of the country,” according to the English-language state-run Press TV network.
The device, a Global Hawk model (of the American manufacturer Northrop Grumman) “was shot down by the air force” on the town of Kuh-é Mobarak “after having violated the Iranian airspace”.
Initially, the state television network did not disclose images of the destroyed device. But hours after the Iranian Revolution Guard announced the shooting down of the device, dedicated to espionage operations, a US official confirmed the incident, which occurs amid the growing tension between the two countries.
According to the news report, the craft that was hit on Thursday by a surface-to-air missile is an MQ-4C Triton of the United States Navy.
ABC News detailed that the MQ-4C Triton is an unarmed surveillance aircraft that is capable of operating altitudes of up to 60,000 feet and is a version of the reconnaissance aircraft RQ-4 Global Hawk of the Air Force.
Iran accused of attacking a Japanese tanker
The incident occurs at the time of deepening tensions between Iran and the United States. The US military launched on Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates more specific accusations against Iran for the attack on the Japanese tanker “Kokuka Courageous”, claiming that it found material signs and fingerprints that would demonstrate the involvement of Tehran.
The vessel was damaged on June 13 in the Oman Sea by a magnetic mine “similar to those used by Iran,” said US Navy Commander Sean Kido.
Army experts recovered fingerprints of the people who planted those mines, he added at a press conference organized by the US Navy in Fujaira, the port of the United Arab Emirates where the US has a naval base and where the ship is anchored”.
“The limpet-mine is recognizable and resembles in all respects the Iranian mines visible in the military parades” in this country, said Commander Kido, who leads Task Group 56.1, specialized in marine explosives at the Central Command of the Naval Forces of the United States (NAVCENT).
Trump’s Iran Strategy
In the wake of Barack Obama, one of the declared ambitions of President’s foreign policy was to extract the United States from the Middle Eastern wars that have been a burden to the US since the beginning of the century. “America first” means getting out of the traps and mirages of the misty shores of the Arabian Gulf.
However, his Iranian policy could lead straight to war. This is not only because his Secretary of State, Michael Pompeo, and his security advisor, John Bolton, are hawks on the Iranian front and have never hidden that they wanted a regime change in Tehran . It’s also because Trump, puffed up with confidence in his negotiating skills, has a hard time imagining that when faced with a dictatorial regime that does not take into account its people, pressure and threats do no hold the same weight.
His tactics, which have already failed in North Korea, is to intimidate, threaten, and demand the maximum from the other side and promise “fire and fury” if he does not get satisfaction. A lot of posturing, little negotiation — which avoids having to master the details of the issue. Adopting the bible of the Republican Party, but also for the sole pleasure of undoing one of the pillars of Obama’s legacy, Trump denounced in 2018 the agreement on the control of the Iranian nuclear program concluded on July 14, 2015 in Vienna, signed by the Islamic Republic on one side and, on the other, by China, the United States, France, the United Kingdom, Russia and Germany.