Iran summons UAE charge d’affaires over U.S. drone incident

June 22, 2019

TEHRAN – Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned on Saturday the United Arab Emirates’ charge d’affaires to protest violation of Iran’s airspace by the U.S. drone from a military base in the UAE.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran does not accept providing foreign forces with facilities to aggress Iran’s territorial, water and space and the countries cannot evade responsibility in this respect,” head of the Foreign Ministry Department for Persian Gulf Affairs said.

The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Thursday it had shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone after it breached the country’s airspace.

The IRGC brought the drone down by firing a surface-to-air missile at it.

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.

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,” Takht-e Ravanchi said.

Swiss Ambassador to Tehran Markus Leitner, whose country represents the U.S. interests in Iran, was summoned to the Iranian Foreign Ministry on Friday to receive an official note which he said will immediately deliver to Washington.

Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the aerospace unit of the IRGC, said on Friday that the drone had received warnings for four times before being shot down.

“Those who guided the drone received the warnings but did not care. Given that the drone breached Iran’s airspace, the aerospace unit of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps shot it down,” Hajizadeh said in an exhibition held in Tehran to showcase the drone’s wreckage.

The IRGC released GPS coordinates that showed the drone eight miles off Iran’s coast, inside the 12 nautical miles from the shore that is Iran’s territorial waters.

“Two warnings were issued on 2:05 on Thursday morning and two others were issued on 3:55 and the drone was shot on 4:05. In fact, four warnings were given to this drone but they did not pay attention. Another spy plane was also flying near this drone which carried 35 crew members and we had the right to shoot that down, however, we shot down the unmanned drone,” the general explained.

NA/PA