Mousavi to Brian Hook: ‘Diplomacy for diplomacy, respect for respect, firm defense for war’

June 22, 2019 - 21:12

TEHRAN – Tehran has slammed U.S. special representative for Iran Brian Hook for his remarks over Iran’s downing of a U.S. spy drone, saying “the Iranian nation responds to diplomacy with diplomacy, respect with respect and war with firm defense.”

Speaking to reporters on Friday during a visit to Saudi Arabia, Hook said Tehran had no right to respond to “diplomacy” with “military force,” a day after the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps shot down the high-tech RQ-4 Global Hawk drone over its territorial waters.

Iran sharply condemned the violation of its airspace by the drone, emphasizing that its aerial and territorial borders constitute a red line.

Responding to the hawkish U.S. official, Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi took to Twitter and asked, “Mr. Hook, do you call years of war and economic terrorism imposed on Iranian people and violation of treaties and resolutions as ‘diplomacy’?”

Tensions between Iran and the U.S. have been on the rise since May last year, when the White House under Donald Trump exited a hard-won multilateral nuclear deal with Iran and reinstated sanctions against Tehran in defiance of international warnings for Washington not to undermine the accord — which was widely hailed as a fruit of successful international diplomacy.

Hook is in a commanding position over the Trump administration’s highly belligerent Iran policy and promotes the White House’s sanctions campaign against the Islamic Republic, which has been criticized by the entire world, including Washington’s own allies.

The tensions have specially soared after the U.S. moved to toughen the sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector in late April and announced plans shortly afterwards to deploy military reinforcements to the Middle East, citing alleged and unspecified Iranian “threats.”

Iran’s downing of the American drone came days after UN sources said the U.S. was planning to carry out a “tactical assault” on an Iranian nuclear facility in response to attacks earlier this month on oil tankers in the Sea of Oman, which the U.S. has blamed on Iran, without providing any credible evidence.

The New York Times reported on Friday that President Donald Trump had approved military strikes against Iran for downing an intruding American spy aircraft, but pulled back from launching them on Thursday night.

Trump initially issued a series of cataclysmic threats, insisting that the Global Hawk was flying over international waters when it was taken down by an Iranian missile.

However, the GPS coordinates released by Iran put the drone eight miles off the country’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore, which is Iran’s territorial waters.