Washington, Tehran at odds over whether or not US downed Iranian drone

WASHINGTON: The USA and Iran have been at odds on Friday a few US assertion that its Navy had introduced down an Iranian drone within the Gulf, with Tehran displaying video footage that it mentioned disproved the incident even occurred.

A senior Trump administration official mentioned Washington had “very clear proof” that the US warship Boxer downed an Iranian drone within the Gulf’s Strait of Hormuz on Thursday morning native time.

“We’re assured,” the official advised reporters on situation of anonymity, including that the USA would take down some other Iranian drones that got here too near its warships.

A video of the incident might be launched by the Pentagon, the official mentioned.

However Iran mentioned all of its pilotless planes have been accounted for amid rising worldwide concern that either side might blunder right into a warfare within the strategic waterway.

Iran’s state tv broadcast a video displaying aerial views of ships that it mentioned disproved the US assertion.

The tv station mentioned a drone had captured the footage, which got here from Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, and timing notations indicated the pilotless plane was nonetheless filming after Washington mentioned it had been downed.

The episode is the most recent friction to check nerves across the Strait of Hormuz, a significant chokepoint for oil tankers. Oil costs rose on Friday due to the stress.

Regardless of powerful speak on either side and an Iranian downing of a US drone in June, Washington and Tehran have to this point proven restraint.

TRUMP ANNOUNCEMENT

US President Donald Trump mentioned on Thursday the united statesBoxer had destroyed an Iranian drone as a result of it had flown to inside 1,000 yards (914 meters) of the ship in a “provocative and hostile motion.”

The Pentagon introduced the ship had downed an Iranian drone shortly after Trump did. A US official mentioned the drone was introduced down by digital jamming.

A senior Trump administration official, briefing reporters on Friday on situation of anonymity, mentioned, “We have now very clear proof” that the warship introduced down an Iranian drone however didn’t instantly supply proof. “In the event that they fly too near our ships, they’ll proceed to be shot down,” the official mentioned.

Abolfazl Shekarchi, a senior armed forces spokesman, was quoted by the semi-official Tasnim information company as saying there was no report of any “operational response” by the united statesBoxer.

“All drones belonging to Iran within the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz … returned safely to their bases after their mission of identification and management,” he mentioned.

Iran is in a sequence of disputes with the USA over a sequence of points together with safety within the Gulf, Tehran’s nuclear ambitions and US sanctions, dismissed the report of a drone downing.

Relations between the USA and Iran have worsened since final yr when Trump deserted a 2015 worldwide nuclear deal between world powers and Iran.

Underneath the pact, Iran agreed to limit nuclear work, lengthy seen by the West as a canopy for growing atomic bombs, in return for lifting sanctions.

FALTERING DIPLOMACY

Tehran on Thursday signaled a willingness to have interaction in diplomacy with a modest supply on its nuclear work – ratification of a doc prescribing extra intrusive nuclear inspections if Washington deserted its financial sanctions.

However the Trump administration official dismissed the supply by Iranian Overseas Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Zarif appeared to haven’t any decision-making potential and that Washington “wouldn’t take into account something from him severe,” the official mentioned.

Requested whom the USA would want to listen to from with the intention to have negotiations over Tehran’s nuclear program, the official mentioned: “I might say the supreme chief or the president.”

Trump remained open to negotiations with Iran with out preconditions on its nuclear program and can keep a tricky financial sanctions regime on Tehran within the meantime, the official mentioned.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel mentioned that she was involved concerning the scenario within the Gulf.

“You possibly can’t have a look at this area with out caring in the meanwhile,” she mentioned at a information convention. “Each alternative for diplomatic contact ought to be tried to keep away from an escalation.”

Within the newest growth in a standoff between Iran and Britain that has additionally stoked Gulf tensions, Gibraltar’s supreme court docket granted a 30-day extension to permit authorities to detain the Iranian oil tanker Grace 1 till Aug. 15.

The USA has blamed Iran for a sequence of assaults since mid-Might on transport across the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most vital oil artery. Tehran rejects the allegations.

The USA has reimposed sanctions to throttle Iran’s oil commerce and stress Tehran to renegotiate the accord, talk about its ballistic missiles and modify its regional insurance policies.

The USA is struggling to win its allies’ assist for an initiative to intensify surveillance of significant Center East oil transport lanes due to fears it should enhance stress with Iran, six sources acquainted with the matter mentioned.

Copyright Reuters, 2019


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