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28 Jun, 2019 16:19

Iran files complaint with UN over violation of airspace by downed US drone

Iran files complaint with UN over violation of airspace by downed US drone

Iran has confirmed that it has issued a formal complaint to the United Nations against the United States. It alleges that a drone belonging to the US military that it shot down on June 20 had trespassed in its airspace.

“The complaint was filed to the U.N. Security Council over the aggression against our airspace by the American drone ... the complaint states that Tehran reserves the right to respond firmly if the U.S. repeats the violation,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Gholamhossein Dehghani said on Friday, as quoted by Iranian news agency Tasnim.

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Tehran claims that the unmanned aircraft had been flying over one of its southern provinces near the Persian Gulf. Washington denies that it was in Iranian airspace, insisting that it was flying over international waters when it was attacked. The incident has heightened tensions between the two nations at a time when the Trump administration is openly talking about the possibility of war. Earlier this month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for attacks on oil tankers located in the Gulf of Oman, though he provided no definitive evidence to support the claim, which Iran denies.

The escalating froideur began last year, when President Trump unilaterally pulled the US out of the Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran, known officially as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Doing so effectively re-imposed sanctions against the Islamic republic, that are already having a crippling impact on its economy, including its crucial oil sector. European nations have pledged to bypass the sanctions.

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On the same day, Iranian leaders will meet with European leaders in Vienna to discuss whether they can find an agreement on continuing trade relations in spite of the sanctions. Tehran has said that if no agreement can be reached then it will move ahead with plans to breach certain parts of the JCPOA since it will no longer have any incentive to abide by its terms.

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