Iranian Armed Forces Reject Trump’s Claim on Downing Drone
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A senior spokesman for the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces vehemently dismissed US President Donald Trump’s claim about the downing of an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz, saying such claims are rooted in Trump’s illusions.
“Contrary to the false claim rooted in Trump’s illusions, all Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz…, have returned safely to their bases after completing their scheduled reconnaissance and patrol missions,” Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi said in a statement on Friday.
The top general added that no report has been received on a counter operation by the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship.
He further described Trump’s unfounded claim as part of his efforts to increase tensions and insecurity in the Persian Gulf region and the strategic Hormuz Strait.
Trump claimed on Thursday that the USS Boxer destroyed an Iranian drone after the aircraft threatened the ship by flying to within 1,000 meters of it and ignored multiple calls to stand down.
Later, the Pentagon said in a statement that the USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, had taken “defensive action” against a drone, but did not mention whether the aircraft was Iranian.
The chief Pentagon spokesman, Jonathan Hoffman, said in a written statement: “A fixed-wing unmanned aerial system approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range. The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew.”
The statement also omitted any reference to how the drone was brought down, but CNN reported it was done by electronic jamming, rather than gunfire.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
Later on the same day, US President Donald Trump said he had called off a retaliatory attack on a number of targets in Iran and said that he was ready to speak with Iranian leaders and come to an understanding that would allow the country to improve its economic prospects. “What I’d like to see with Iran, I’d like to see them call me.”
“I look forward to the day where we can actually help Iran. We're not looking to hurt Iran,” Trump added.
However, on June 24 Trump announced new sanctions against top Iranian officials, including the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei, Iran’s foreign minister, and senior commanders of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).