The United States and Iran have been locked in a crossroad of accusations following the shooting down of a US Army drone by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an action that Tehran attributes to a violation of its airspace, an accusation that was rejected on Thursday by Washington.
The Government of Iran was the first to report the incident when, in a statement, the Guardians of the Revolution announced the demolition of the unmanned aircraft, an MQ-4 Triton, when performing surveillance tasks.
According to the Iranian elite force, the drone was hit by a ground-air missile when it entered its airspace in the early hours of Thursday and flew over the Koohe Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The commander-in-chief of the Guardians, Hosein Salamí, told the Tasnim agency that the demolition of the device is “a decisive and clear message” for the United States. respect “the territorial integrity, national security and vital interests of Iran”.
“The defenders of the borders of Islamic Iran will show decisive and direct reactions to the aggression against this territory by any foreigner,” warned the commander.
However, the Pentagon has rejected these accusations and has assured that it was an “unprovoked act” when the apparatus was performing reconnaissance tasks on international waters.
“Reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false,” Capt. Bill Urban, spokesman for the Central Command of the US Armed Forces, said in a statement. (CentCom), responsible for operations in the Middle East.
The captain added that it was an “attack without provocation against an element of surveillance that was in international airspace.”
Subsequently, the Pentagon released a video with the supposed demolition, although the images, of poor quality, barely show the trace of smoke of the alleged missile and a strong deflagration without further details.
In a brief appearance without questions from the base of Al Udeid, in Qatar, which could be followed from the Pentagon, Lieutenant General Joseph Guastella, commander of the CentCom Air Force, said that the drone “had not violated Iranian airspace in No moment during his mission. “
White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders has indicated that President Donald Trump was informed of the demolition and that the Executive “is following the situation closely.”
Hours later, President Trump turned to his Twitter account to post a threatening message: “Iran has made a big mistake!”
Just hours later, during a meeting in the Oval Office with the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, Trump downplayed the event and noted that it was possibly an accident.
“I think it’s hard to believe that it was intentional, I think it was someone reckless and stupid who did it,” the president told reporters.
This event comes just days after CentCom accused Iran of enabling the Huties to be shot down by one of their unmanned aircraft in Yemen and to try to shoot down another over the Gulf of Oman.
The tension between Iran and the US has escalated in recent weeks, to the point that the US government has decided to send more troops and strengthen its military deployment of ships and missiles in the Persian Gulf.
Last week, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo directly accused Iran of the attack on two cargo ships in the Gulf of Oman.
However, at the moment, the only evidence disclosed by the US government is a low-resolution video in black and white, which shows how the crew of a small boat seems to manipulate an object attached to the hull of a ship larger.
According to the Pentagon, the subjects recorded are people close to the Iranian Government and the object they manipulate is a magnetic mine that they wanted to remove from the hull of the Japanese vessel Kokuka Courageous, after not having exploded, with the aim of erasing their trail.
The Iranian authorities have denied their involvement and have assured that if they wanted to block the strait and prevent the transit of oil, as they have already threatened, they would do so openly.
Trump decided to withdraw his country from the nuclear agreement with Iran in 2015, a decision that accompanied the resumption of sanctions against the Islamic Republic lifted under the pact and reinforced in May with the end of exemptions to other countries for the purchase of crude oil Iranian.