Iran summons Swiss ambassador over invading U.S. drone

June 21, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s Foreign Ministry summoned on Friday Swiss ambassador to Tehran to protest violation of Iran’s airspace by the U.S. drone as Switzerland represents U.S. interests in Iran.

Mohsen Baharvand, the assistant for foreign minister and director general of department of the U.S. affairs, met with Markus Leitner giving him an official note protesting the U.S. drone’s violation of the Iranian airspace and warning that Washington is responsible for consequences of such “provocative” actions.

Baharvand also sent the message that Iran does not seek war with any country, however, the armed forces of the Islamic Republic will strongly respond to any act of aggression.

“Iran’s armed forces practice self-restraint as far as possible in order to maintain peace in volatile region of the Persian Gulf and Sea of Oman. However, if the other side takes provocative and inconsiderate actions, it will face retaliatory response whose consequences are unpredictable and will cause harms to all sides,” Baharvad explained.

The Swiss envoy promised to immediately convey the message to Washington.

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Friday that the U.S. military drone entered the Iranian airspace from the United Arab Emirates and it was targeted near Kouh-e Mobarak.

“At 00:14 U.S. drone took off from the UAE in stealth mode and violated Iranian airspace,” Zarif wrote on his Twitter account. 

Zarif said, “It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak.”

Iran has submitted a protest letter to the United Nations over the violation of its airspace by the United States.

Foreign Minister Zarif said Iran has found parts of the downed drone in its territorial waters.

“We’ve retrieved sections of the U.S. military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down,” Zarif explained.

Tehran has released two videos that show the flight route of the stealth drone as well as the moment it was brought down by an Iranian made air defense shield called “Third of Khordad”.

Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, wrote a letter on Thursday to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the UN Security Council stating that “Iran condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this irresponsible and provocative wrongful act by the United States, which entails its international responsibility.”

“While the Islamic Republic of Iran does not seek war, it reserves its inherent right, under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, to take all appropriate necessary measures against any hostile act violating its territory, and is determined to vigorously defend its land, sea and air,” he said.

According to Fars, Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Major General Hossein Salami said that the move should alert Washington officials to stay away.

The incident sent “a clear message” to the U.S. and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression, Salami said.

“Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran’s territorial integrity and national interests,” he asserted.

NA/PA

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