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IRAN has denied that the US shot down its drone in the Strait of Hormuz today, calling President Donald Trump “delusional” for the claim.
The US president claimed that the USS Boxer had “destroyed” an Iranian drone which flew within 1,000 yards of the navy ship and had ignored “multiple calls to stand down.”
Iran’s deputy foreign minister Abbas Araqchi said: “We have not lost any drone in the Strait of Hormuz nor anywhere else. I am worried that USS Boxer has shot down their own [drone] by mistake.”
Iranian armed forces spokesman General Abolfazl Shekarchi said: “Despite Trump’s baseless and delusional claims, all of [Iran’s] drones have returned to their bases safe and sound after carrying out their scheduled surveillance and control operations.”
Iranian parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy spokesman Hossein Naghavi Hosseini said the claim is part of an effort by the US to “create tensions and psychological warfare in the region and in Iran, and hide its failures.”
Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard said it will release images taken by a drone that Mr Trump says was hit by the US warship to disprove his claim.
The president’s announcement came just hours after Iran said it seized a foreign vessel in the Persian Gulf that was smuggling fuel.
Peace Action’s senior director for political affairs Paul Kawika Martin said White House policies are responsible for “the high tensions in the Strait of Hormuz.”
“Because of the Trump administration’s policy of maximum provocation towards Iran, [the US] stands on the precipice of another blunderous war of choice in the Middle East,” Mr Martin said. “We need conversations, not a catastrophe.”
Meanwhile China praised an Iranian offer to speed up ratification of an agreement on access to its nuclear sites today while criticising the latest US sanctions on Iran, China and Belgium for allegedly helping Iran buy materials for its nuclear programme.
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