Published: Sat, June 22, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Iran Makes Show of Drone Wreckage After Trump Calls Off Retaliatory Strike

Iran Makes Show of Drone Wreckage After Trump Calls Off Retaliatory Strike

US President Donald Trump said on Friday he aborted a military strike to retaliate for Iran's downing of the US drone because it could have killed 150 people, and signalled he was open to talks with Tehran.

Iran's Foreign Ministry summoned a diplomatic representative of the United Arab Emirates on Saturday because the UAE allowed the drone that was shot down to be launched from a US military base on its territory, the Fars news agency reported.

The drone incident immediately heightened the crisis already gripping the wider region, which is rooted in Trump withdrawing the USA a year ago from Iran's 2015 nuclear deal and imposing crippling new sanctions on Tehran.

"Confrontation, whatever we think about Trump or Iran, will be disastrous for everyone", the diplomat told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

"If the enemy - especially America and its allies in the region - make the military mistake of shooting the powder keg on which America's interests lie, the region will be set on fire", Shekarchi warned.

On Friday morning the New York Times reported that Trump approved strikes against Iranian radar and missile batteries in retaliation for the downing of the drone. But the United States said the drone was shot down 21 miles off the Iranian coast, in the Strait of Hormuz.

Under pressure to respond to the high-stakes incident near the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Trump said the U.S. was prepared to hit "3 different sites" Thursday night but that he scrapped the strikes "10 minutes" before they were to have been launched. He said that military action was still a possibility.

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"I think it was clear that Iran was trying to provoke the United States into forcing them to choose between going into a military conflict without worldwide support or looking weak by not striking back".

Tensions in the region began to worsen significantly when Trump pulled out of a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and six powers and reimposed sanctions on the country.

But the tensions reached a fever pitch in recent weeks after two oil tankers were attacked, supposedly by the Iranian forces as the regime flexes its muscles over tough sanctions that caused its currency to drop by about 60 percent in 12 months while food and drug prices are up 40 and 60 percent, respectively.

Iran has denied seeking a nuclear weapon and says its programme is for civilian purposes.

The Post writes that Trump has directed an operation that it is likely to begin with predawn raids on Sunday in up to 10 US cities. "I hope that happens", he told reporters outside the White House.

However, the USA claims the drone was flying above neutral waters of the Strait of Hormuz at the time.

"Nonetheless, this was an act of trampling worldwide aviation laws by a spy aircraft", Hajizadeh added.

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