By Gad Masereka
Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) has shot down the US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone in the air space of Iran near the strategic Strait of Hormuz. IRGC said the aircraft had violated Iranian airspace, and that the incident sent a “clear message to America”.
However, following the incident, US president Donald Trump said in a tweet to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps that Tehran had made a “very big” error. President Trump has many times said he does not favour war with Iran unless it is to stop the country getting a nuclear weapon. Iran’s Foreign Ministry issued a condemnation of the purported violation of its airspace and warned of a strong reaction to what it called a “provocative” act by the U.S.
The US military confirmed the drone being theirs and insisted that the drone was over international waters at that time, and condemned what they called an “unprovoked attack” by the IRGC. This comes a few days after Iranian tankers had been attacked in the region, through which a fifth of the world’s oil passes each day. The drone shooting however heightens the growing tension between the two states as Tehran pushes back against the administration of US President Donald Trump. USA in May 2018 began reinstating sanctions on Iran and in November, sanctions targeting Iran’s oil and financial sectors took effect. On Monday, the US defence department said it was planning to deploy 1,000 extra troops to the region in response to “hostile behaviour” by Iranian forces. It has already sent an aircraft carrier strike group and B-52 bombers to respond in case of any provocation.