Iran files complaint against U.S. over violating its airspace

June 29, 2019 - 19:32

TEHRAN – Iran has filed a complaint to the UN Security Council against the United States over violation of its airspace by a U.S. drone which was shot down by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps on June 20.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and International Affairs Gholam-Hossein Dehqani said on Friday that the Foreign Ministry has filed the complaint based on Article 51 of the UN Charter.

The complaint has noted that Iran reserves the right to defend its maritime borders and confront any violation in case such acts are repeated, he said.

The IRGC shot down an unmanned U.S. surveillance drone on June 20 after it breached Iran’s airspace. The IRGC brought the drone down by firing a surface-to-air missile at it.

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

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.

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.

Brigadier General Majid Fakhri, the head of the Geographical Organization of the Armed Forces of Iran, said on Tuesday that the U.S. drone had trespassed into the Iranian territory by 7 kilometers before it was shot.

“The drone was certainly in Iranian territory by 4 miles or 7 kilometers,” he told reporters.

Majid Takht-e Ravanchi, Iran’s ambassador to the UN, wrote a letter on June 20 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.