President Trump aborted a drone strike in Iran last night.
President Trump aborted a drone strike in Iran last night and has tweeted about it. “We were cocked & loaded,” he tweeted, “to retaliate last night on 3 different sights when I asked, how many will die, 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone.”
This comes as a result from tensions between the United States and Iran. On Thursday, Iran shot down a US drone over the Gulf of Oman. Washington and Tehran disagree over whether the drone was shot down over international waters, as Trump has tweeted, or over Iranian airspace. In response to Trump’s claim, Tehran Friday prayer leader Hojatoleslam Javad Haj Ali Akbari accused the President of making “delusional statements” and suggested Trump’s administration “lack[s] common sense but they all need a lesson in geography.”
Akbari went on to say: “They should pay attention to the fact the Strait of Hormuz belongs to us and has always been the graveyard of aggressors.”
Both states have claimed to have withheld aggression
The commander of the Aerospace Force of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, suggested they could have, but chose not to shot down a US spy-plane also over the Strait of Hormuz, near where the drone was downed. The P-8 spy plane had a crew of 35.
Despite the lack of casualties, this exchange still represents increased tensions between the two countries—which have been rising since Trump withdrew from the Obama-era deal with Iran regarding the country’s nuclear technology. The current administration was concerned the deal would give Iran a path to nuclear weapons. In place of the deal, the administration has pursued aggressive sanctions.
Two prominent figures have expressed worries about escalating military tensions. Chuck Schumer, Senate Minority Leader, expressed concern on Thursday, after the US drone was downed, that the conflict would escalate.
“The president may not intend to go to war here,” he said “but we’re worried that he and the administration may bumble into a war,” Schumer said.
Vladimir Putin, speaking during an annual call-in event, had similar concerns. The US military getting involved in Iran, he said, “would be a catastrophe, at a minimum, for the region.” Another refugee crisis, and Iran reneging on their part of the Iran nuclear deal would be possible outcomes, according to Putin.
Aborting the drone strike represents a bumble away from war.