Iran Claims U.S. Shot Down its Own Drone By Mistake
By R.J. Johnson - @rickerthewriter
July 19, 2019
Iran pushed back against claims the U.S. shot down one of their drones over the Strait of Hormuz on Friday after President Donald Trump said Thursday the U.S. Navy destroyed an Iranian drone that was threatening a ship.
"We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own UAS (Unmanned Aerial System) by mistake!," Iran's Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi wrote on Twitter.
According to Iran's semi-official Tasnim news agency, Gen. Abolfazl Shkari claimed that all of Iran's drones are located in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz have "returned to their bases."
"Contrary to Trump's delusional and groundless claim, all drones belonging to the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, including the one mentioned by the US President, have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out their scheduled surveillance and control operations," Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said.
On Thursday, President Trump told reporters the USS Boxer - an amphibious assault ship - had "immediately destroyed" a drone belonging to Iran after it became a threat to the ship and its crew. The drone reportedly came within 1,000 yards of the vessel and had ignored "multiple calls to stand down."
"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very, very near distance -- approximately 1,000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship’s crew," Trump said.
The Strait of Hormuz is a heavily traveled waterway where around a fifth of the world's oil passes through.
"This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters," Trump said. "The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities and interest and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce."
The incident marks another escalation in tensions between the United States and Iran after the country's seizure of an oil tanker.Twelve crew members on the Panamanian-flagged vessel were taken into custody by the Iran Revolutionary Guard Corps, after they claimed the tanker was attempting to smuggle oil.
Photo: Getty Images