23 January 2020

Trump says 'no doubt' US downed Iranian drone

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There is "no doubt" the U.S. shot down an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump said Friday after Iran released a video it says disproves the claim.

APA reports citing American media.

"We shot it down," Trump told reporters at the White House, dismissing concerns of a broader conflict with Iran in the waterway.

Iran has denied allegations that its aircraft was taken down after Trump made the claim Thursday, saying the drone was shot down after it closed within 1,000 yards (0.91 kilometers) of the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship.

Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps released video on Friday it says disproves Trump's claim.

Tensions in the Strait of Hormuz have flared in recent months following Trump's decision to reimpose sanctions on Iranian crude oil exports that were lifted as part of a 2015 nuclear accord between Tehran and world powers.

Trump unilaterally exited the U.S. from the agreement in May 2018, calling on other parties to follow suit while taking actions to scuttle the pact.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said in an interview with the National Interest magazine Thursday that Trump "believes he is trying to get a better deal through pressure."

"If he has been advised that that is how to get a better deal, I think he has been misadvised—or ill-advised," he said.

Iran downed a U.S. drone in June that it says violated its airspace -- a claim disputed by the Trump administration, that said it remained above international waters when it was taken down.

The incident nearly resulted in retaliatory strikes Trump says he called off because he said it would have been a disproportionate response.

The Strait of Hormuz, which separates the Gulf of Oman from the Persian Gulf, has been a hotbed of activity amid the standoff with Iran on the one side, and the U.S. and its Gulf Arab allies on the other.

It is one of the most critical waterways for the global energy trade with roughly 20% of the world's oil supply passing through it daily.

2019.07.20 / 09:28
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