The Aftermath of Iran Shooting Down U.S. Drone
Dear Friends & Neighbors,
(Please click on red links & note magenta)
Since May of 2018, Washington chose to leave the 2015 nuclear deal the Iranian regime negotiated with world powers, to reimpose crippling sanctions on Irans’ economy, and the relationship between U.S. and Iran have deteriorated. Since the beginning of this week, with Trump administration’s decision to deploy 1,000 additional troops and more military resources to the Middle East on Monday, June 17, 2019, relationships between U.S. and Iran had made a turn for the worse.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard shot down an unmanned U.S. drone on Thursday, raising tension over Strait of Hormuz over the already volatile situation between Washington and Tehran in the Middle East. The key point of contention is the location of the drone: the Foreign Minister of Iran, Javad Zarif, tweeted on Thursday that “At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59’43″N 57°02’25″E) near Kouh-e Mobarak.” The United States countered that the drone had been flying in international airspace when it was shot down, at about nine nautical miles southwest of the coordinates cited by Iran.
The strained relationship between the U.S. and Iran has worsened with Iran’s downing of an American surveillance drone. How serious is the incident, and how should the U.S. respond? Judy Woodruff talks to Stephen Hadley, who served as national security adviser under President George W. Bush, and Gerard Araud, former French ambassador to the U.S., to discuss the likelihood of a diplomatic solution, in the video “On Iran, former George W. Bush official calls for diplomacy“, below:
As of Thursday, June 20, 2019, 3:00 pm EST, Jennifer Griffin predicts Trump’s military response to Iran shooting down a U.S. drone would be much different if an American had been injured or killed, in the video “Pentagon releases footage of US drone being shot down by Iran“, below:
The Pentagon has released a video that they claim shows Iran shooting down a US drone. Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an “intruding American spy drone” after it entered into the country’s territory. A US official confirmed to CNN a drone had been shot down, but said the incident occurred in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world’s most vital shipping routes, in the video “Video shows Iran shooting down US drone“, below:
According to the New York Times, President Trump reportedly approved military strikes against Iran in retaliation for the downing of a U.S. drone, then suddenly called off the mission amid escalating tensions across the Middle East. Michael Crowley, Tessa Berenson and Ben Rhodes join, in the video “NYT: Trump Approved Strikes On Iran But Pulled Back From Launching Them, The 11th Hour, MSNBC“, below:
U.S. Central Command, overseeing military operations in the Middle East, provided details in a statement, indicating the downed drone is a RQ-4A Global Hawk High-Altitude, Long, Endurance (HALE) Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS).
Iran’s semi-official Tasnim News Agency reported that the drone was shot down by Khordad-3 medium range air defense missile.
Iran’s downing of a $180 million unmanned drone over the Strait of Hormuz on Thursday has escalated tensions in the already volatile region. US President Trump isn’t ruling out retaliatory strikes. Former Pentagon official Michael Maloof discusses the latest with RT America’s Manila Chan, in the video “Trump mulls retaliatory strike on Iran“, below:
Syed Abbas Mousavi, Iran’s foreign ministry spokesperson, said the country condemned the “aggressive and provocative action.” He said, “We warn against any violation of Iran’s airspace by foreign flying objects and declare that violators are responsible for the consequences of their actions.” President Hassan Rouhani said the country does not seek war but “is determined to show its hopefulness and vitality and defeat enemy’s plot.”
Senator Ben Cardin stated, “I think military response would be a mistake. There is no such a thing as a limited military response. Right now this could not be used as justification to escalate a military conflict in the region. That’s not in the United States’ interest.”
Regardless whether Iranian’s shooting down the U.S. drone was due to miscalculations or due to intention, I would like to remind us of another incident between U.S. and Iran back in 1988, in the excerpt from wikipedia, in italics, below:
Iran Air Flight 655 was a scheduled passenger flight from Tehran to Dubai via Bandar Abbas, that was shot down on 3 July 1988 by an SM-2MR surface-to-air missile fired from USS Vincennes, a guided missile cruiser of the United States Navy. The aircraft, an Airbus A300, was destroyed and all 290 people on board including 66 children, were killed. The jet was hit while flying over Iran‘s territorial waters in the Persian Gulf, along the flight’s usual route, shortly after departing Bandar Abbas International Airport, the flight’s stopover location. Vincenneshad entered Iranian territory after one of its helicopters drew warning fire from Iranian speedboats operating within Iranian territorial limits.
The reason for the shootdown has been disputed between the governments of the two countries. According to the United States government, the crew of USS Vincennes had incorrectly identified the Airbus as an attacking F-14 Tomcat, a U.S.-made jet fighter that had been part of the Iranian Air Force inventory since the 1970s. While the F-14s had been supplied to Iran in an air-to-air configuration, the crew of the guided missile cruiser had been briefed that the Iranian F-14s were equipped with air-to-ground ordnance. Vincennes had made ten attempts to contact the aircraft on both military and civilian radio frequencies, but had received no response. The International Civil Aviation Organization said that the flight crew should have been monitoring the civilian frequency. According to the Iranian government, the cruiser negligently shot down the aircraft, which was transmitting IFF squawks in Mode III, a signal that identified it as a civilian aircraft, and not Mode II as used by Iranian military aircraft. The event generated a great deal of criticism of the United States. Some analysts blamed the captain of Vincennes, William C. Rogers III, for overly-aggressive behavior in a tense and dangerous environment. In the days immediately following the incident, US President Ronald Reagan issued a written diplomatic note to the Iranian government, expressing deep regret.
In 1996, the governments of the United States and Iran reached a settlement at the International Court of Justice which included the statement “…the United States recognized the aerial incident of 3 July 1988 as a terrible human tragedy and expressed deep regret over the loss of lives caused by the incident…” As part of the settlement, even though the U.S. government did not admit legal liability or formally apologize to Iran, it still agreed to pay US$61.8 million on an ex gratia basis, amounting to $213,103.45 per passenger, in compensation to the families of the Iranian victims..
Conclusion: No one country is perfect. It is best to shift our nation’s attention from fossil fuel to renewable energy such as solar and wind in order to avoid much future international conflicts.
The video “The REAL reason the U.S. is picking a fight with Iran“, below:
Gathered, written, and posted by Windermere Sun-Susan Sun Nunamaker More about the community at www.WindermereSun.com
~Let’s Help One Another~
Please also get into the habit of checking at these sites below for more on solar energy topics: