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Iran Shoots Down U.S. Drone – Tehran Warns Washington Has ‘Crossed Red Line’

(Image Source: Mail Online)

Iran has shot down a U.S. military drone near the southern coastal province of Hormozgan, earlier today. The U.S. has hit back immediately, in a war of words, calling the Iranian action an ‘act of aggression,’ according to reports.

Tehran claims the U.S. drone was conducting a ‘spy mission’ over Iranian territory, but Washington denies this, calling it “an unprovoked attack”, and insists that their military aircraft was flying safely in international air space.

Iranian officials claim that they have destroyed a RQ-4 Global Hawk, but the U.S. officials claim this was really a variant of the Global Hawk model, which is a Navy MQ-4C Triton. Unmanned U.S. surveillance aircraft normally fly at an altitude of circa 60,000 feet, so it is possible that Iran’s air defense shot down the U.S. drone using a radar-guided surface-to-air missile – possibly a Russian S-300 system which Iran has in its arsenal, or the Iranian-made Khordad SAM system.

The cost of the U.S. aircraft is said to be in the neighborhood of $180 million.

In response to what it deems a breach of its borders, the Iranian military spokesman Hossein Salami said that the US has “crossed a red line”, and that their military is ‘ready for war.’ and that the drone had been downed because ‘borders are our red line’.

U.S. Navy Captain Bill Urban, a spokesman for the U.S. military’s Central Command, refuted claims the drone was flying in Iranian airspace.

“This was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international air space,” said Urban.

The incident happens amid rising tension between the US and Iran, as war hawks in Washington continue to build their case for Iran’s alleged “aggressive behavior” in the region.

Oil Price

The markets reacted today as oil prices jumped 3%, with Brent crude futures up $1.93, or 3.1 percent, at $63.75 a barrel around 0650 GMT, after rising as high as $63.88, and US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures up to $1.73, or 3.2 percent, at $55.49 a barrel. Al Jazeera reports the geopolitical context:

Oil prices had risen earlier in the day supported by signs of improving demand in the US, an agreement between Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and other producers on a date for a meeting to discuss output cuts and signs that the US and China were resuming talks to resolve a trade war that is threatening global growth.

“The geopolitical side is the wild card and can’t be predicted, not just the Iran concerns but also the trade meeting between” US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping, said Phin Ziebell, a senior economist at National Australia Bank.

In an alleged media misstep, Iranian state affiliate broadcaster IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency) is said to have released an image on social media purporting to show the U.S. drone falling from the sky, but it was later revealed that the image was two years old depicting a previous incident in Yemen (see images below).


READ MORE IRAN NEWS AT: 21st Century Wire Iran Files




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