US President Donald Trump said on Thursday that an US naval vessel had destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz. However, the government in Tehran denied decisively. Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi scoffed on Twitter that Americans had accidentally shot down their own drone. Because Iran has lost no drone, “neither in the Strait of Hormuz nor elsewhere”.
Araghchi was not the only one who contradicted Trump. In New York, Iranian Foreign Minister Muhammad Javad Zarif said he had no knowledge of the loss of a drone and the speaker of the Iranian army, General Abolfazl Shekarchi, said on Friday, all drones, which were in the said period on the way, were also returned safely to their bases.
Trump’s comments were “groundless and delusional,” said the general. He accused him of generating tensions and thus jeopardizing the safety of international shipping in the strategically important strait.
Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced Friday that they would release a drone-taped video showing how they approached and departed the American warship and finally arrived safely at their base. Trump’s statements are a “mere lie”.
The US president on Thursday evening in a sober tone during the reception of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte announced in the White House. The crew of the “USS Boxer” had destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz on the morning of the same day, reported Trump.
This had approached the US naval ship up to 900 meters and threatened the safety of the ship and its crew. Several requests to withdraw the drone had been ignored. Then she was “destroyed immediately”. It was “the latest in many provocative and hostile actions” by Tehran against ships operating in international waters, Trump said. His government reserves the right to defend its interests, institutions and employees. Trump also called on other states to condemn the actions of the Iranian regime.
From the Pentagon it was said that the incident had occurred on Thursday at ten o’clock local time. The naval vessel “USS Boxer” had been in international waters when the drone approached. It is now in the Persian Gulf. The Defense Department did not want to comment on how the drone had been destroyed, including whether it was an armed drone. The Pentagon did not provide footage.
The tense situation in the Gulf has recently put Trump under pressure. On June 20, the Iranian Revolutionary Guards shot down an American reconnaissance drone. Iran had claimed that it was located above Iranian territory; Washington has objected to that.
Trump’s security adviser and the military then pleaded for a retaliatory action, which Trump said in his own words but ten minutes before their planned start blew off. He justified his concerns with the disproportionate number of victims that a military strike would have demanded.
The behavior of the president irritated his advisors and military. It was asked what conclusions Iran would draw from the fact that, for domestic political reasons, Trump apparently does not want to be involved in a military conflict.