Iran says it has ‘indisputable’ evidence U.S. drone violated airspace

June 21, 2019

TEHRAN – A top Iranian diplomat has said there are “indisputable” evidence that a U.S. spy drone that the IRGC had downed had violated the Iranian airspace.

Abbas Araqchi, the Iranian deputy foreign minister for political affairs, made the statement in a Thursday emergency phone call to the Swiss envoy in Tehran, Markus Leitner, whose country represents the U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic.

In the Thursday night conversation, Araqchi strongly protested the U.S. administration over the American spy drone’s incursion into the Iranian airspace.

“Even some parts of the drone’s wreckage have been retrieved from Iran’s territorial waters,” Araqchi told the Swiss envoy.

This was not the first time the Americans were committing such act, Araqchi said, urging American forces to respect Iran’s aerial and maritime borders and fully abide by international regulations.

The diplomat reiterated that Iran does not seek conflict in the Persian Gulf and warn the American forces against any imprudent measure in the region.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran will not hesitate for a moment to decisively defend its territory against any aggression,” he added.

Ambassador Leitner said he would immediately convey Iran’s message to the U.S. government.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced earlier on Thursday that its mobile air defense system had shot down a U.S. RQ-4 Global Hawk drone flying over the coastal province of Hormozgan in southern Iran.

Washington first denied the report but later admitted that a U.S. Navy MQ-4C Triton (a slightly modified RQ-4) had been shot down, albeit claiming it happened over international waters near the Strait of Hormuz.

The drone was shot down using the Iranian air defense system “3 Khordad”, which can hit targets at altitudes as high as 88,000 feet.

SP/PA

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