clearn.png
Monday January 27th, 2020 7:08PM

American warship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. warship on Thursday destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after it threatened the ship, President Donald Trump said. The incident marked a new escalation of tensions between the countries less than one month after Iran downed an American drone in the same waterway and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.

In remarks at the White House, Trump blamed Iran for a "provocative and hostile" action and said the U.S. responded in self-defense. Iran's foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, told reporters as he arrived for a meeting at the United Nations that "we have no information about losing a drone today."

The clash in one of the busiest waterways for international oil traffic highlighted the risk of war between two countries at odds over a wide range of issues. After Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran nuclear deal last year and imposed additional economic sanctions, the Iranians have pushed back on the military front, allegedly sabotaging Saudi and other oil tankers in the Gulf, shooting down a U.S. drone on June 20 and stepping up support for Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Adding to the economic pressure on Tehran, the Treasury Department said Thursday it was imposing sanctions on what it called a network of front companies and agents involved in helping Iran buy sensitive materials for its nuclear program. It said the targeted individuals and entities are based in Iran, China and Belgium.

Trump said the Navy's USS Boxer, an amphibious assault ship, took defensive action after the Iranian aircraft closed to within 1,000 yards of the ship and ignored multiple calls to stand down.

"The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities and interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce," Trump said.

The Pentagon said the incident happened at 10 a.m. local time Thursday in international waters while the Boxer was transiting the waterway to enter the Persian Gulf. The Boxer is among several U.S. Navy ships in the area, including the USS Abraham Lincoln, an aircraft carrier that has been operating in the nearby North Arabian Sea for weeks.

"A fixed-wing unmanned aerial system approached Boxer and closed within a threatening range," chief Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman said in a written statement. "The ship took defensive action against the UAS to ensure the safety of the ship and its crew."

Neither Trump nor the Pentagon spelled out how the Boxer destroyed the drone. CNN reported that the ship used electronic jamming to bring it down rather than hitting it with a missile.

The Iranians and Americans have had close encounters in the Strait of Hormuz in the past, and it's not unprecedented for Iran to fly a drone near a U.S. warship.

In December, about 30 Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels trailed the USS John C. Stennis aircraft carrier and its strike group through the strait as Associated Press journalists on board watched. One small vessel launched what appeared to be a commercial-grade drone to film the U.S. ships.

Other transits have seen the Iranians fire rockets away from American warships or test-fire their machine guns. The Guard's small fast boats often cut in front of the massive carriers, running dangerously close to running into them in "swarm attacks." The Guard boats are often armed with bomb-carrying drones and sea-to-sea and surface-to-sea missiles.

Thursday's incident was the latest in a series of events that raised U.S.-Iran tensions since early May when Washington accused Tehran of threatening U.S. forces and interests in Iraq and in the Gulf. In response, the U.S. accelerated the deployment of the Lincoln and its strike group to the Arabian Sea and deployed four B-52 long-range bombers to the Gulf state of Qatar. It has since deployed additional Patriot air defense missile batteries in the Gulf region.

Shortly after Iran shot down a U.S. Navy drone aircraft on June 20, Trump ordered a retaliatory military strike but called it off at the last moment, saying the risk of casualties was disproportionate to the downing by Iran, which did not cost any U.S. lives.

Iran claimed the U.S. drone violated its airspace; the Pentagon denied this.

Zarif said Thursday that Iran and the U.S. were only "a few minutes away from a war" after Iran downed the American drone. He spoke to U.S.-based media on the sidelines of a visit to the United Nations.

At the meeting, Zarif also said Iran would be willing to move up an Iranian parliament ratification of an agreement Tehran made with the International Atomic Energy Association — one that outlined access to Iranian nuclear sites and other information.

A spokesman for Zarif explained that Iran is already abiding by the agreement under the 2015 nuclear deal, but it doesn't have the force of law because it's not supposed to be ratified by the Iranian parliament until 2023. Zarif told reporters that the ratification could come earlier if the U.S. eased sanctions.

A senior administration official responded that Trump has repeatedly said he is willing to have a conversation with Iranian leaders. The official said that if Iran wants to make a "serious gesture," it should immediately stop enriching uranium and negotiate an agreement that includes a permanent end to Iran's nuclear ambitions, including development of nuclear-capable missiles. The official was not authorized to publicly discuss the issue and spoke only on condition of anonymity.

Zarif blamed Washington for the escalation of tensions.

"We live in a very dangerous environment," he said. "The United States has pushed itself and the rest of the world into probably the brink of an abyss." Zarif accused the Trump administration of "trying to starve our people" and "deplete our treasury" through economic sanctions.

Earlier Thursday, Iran said its Revolutionary Guard seized a foreign oil tanker and its crew of 12 for smuggling fuel out of the country, and hours later released video showing the vessel to be a United Arab Emirates-based ship that had vanished in Iranian waters over the weekend.

The announcement cleared up the fate of the missing ship but raised a host of other questions and heightened worries about the free flow of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, one of the world's most critical petroleum shipping routes. One-fifth of global crude exports pass through the strait.

___

Associated Press writers Ian Phillips in New York, Aya Batrawy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Deb Riechmann in Washington, and Jennifer Peltz at the United Nations contributed to this report.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP World News, AP Business, AP Business - Economy, AP Business - Industries, AP Business - Utilities
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
American warship destroys Iranian drone in Strait of Hormuz
President Donald Trump says a U.S. warship destroyed an Iranian drone in the Strait of Hormuz after the drone came within threatening distance of the ship
4:42PM ( 7 minutes ago )
Man shouting 'You die' kills 33 at Japan anime studio
Authorities say a man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan, and set it on fire, killing 33 people
4:37PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Harper, Hoskins rally Phillies past Dodgers with 4-run 7th
Harper ties game with RBI single, Hoskins rips 2-RBI single in 7th inning to rally Philadelphia Phillies to 7-6 win over Los Angeles Dodgers
4:27PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Iran FM not giving up hope tensions with US can be resolved
Iran's foreign minister says he believes the Islamic Republic and the United States were only "a few minutes away from a war" after Iran shot down an American spy drone last month
3:56PM ( 53 minutes ago )
The Latest: Woods 'sore' and not moving well at British Open
Tiger Woods says he was "sore" during his round of 78 at the British Open and wasn't moving as well as he did in winning the Masters in April
3:52PM ( 57 minutes ago )
About 10,000 au pairs to get paid in class-action settlement
About 10,000 live-in childcare workers from around the world will be paid an average of $3,500 each under a class-action settlement that alleged exploitation of the mostly young women who perform the jobs
3:40PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
Trump says not happy with backers' 'send her back' chant
Some in GOP chastise Trump supporters' cries to 'send her back,' but don't call out Trump himself
2:30PM ( 2 hours ago )
Records: Trump discussed quashing stories about affairs
Court records show that in the days leading up to the 2016 election, President Donald Trump spoke with aides rushing to quash stories about alleged affairs he had with women
2:15PM ( 2 hours ago )
Sally Field, 'Sesame Street' to receive Kennedy Center award
Actress Sally Field and the long-running children's TV show "Sesame Street" are in the latest class of Kennedy Center Honors recipients
2:14PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Online National News
Automaker BMW names production chief Zipse as new CEO
BMW has named its top production manager, Oliver Zipse, as its next CEO to lead the luxury automaker
3:57PM ( 52 minutes ago )
Netflix subscriber drop hints of streaming-service fatigue
Netflix U.S. subscriber drop might serve as a warning for new streaming services coming our way
3:36PM ( 1 hour ago )
Stocks shake off an early slump and head higher
U.S. stocks reversed course and headed higher in early afternoon trading as technology and bank stocks rallied
3:07PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
Indexes sink; Netflix miss pulls down communications stocks
U.S. stocks edged lower in afternoon trading on Wall Street Thursday after Netflix reported a slump in new subscribers and dragged down communications companies
1:47PM ( 3 hours ago )
Montana, North Dakota push against Washington state rail law
Attorneys general for North Dakota and Montana have petitioned the Trump administration to overrule a Washington state law that imposes safety restrictions on oil shipped by rail from the Northern Plains
11:20AM ( 5 hours ago )
UnitedHealth hikes profit forecast after big 2Q
UnitedHealth posts strong profit in second quarter and raises its outlook for the year
10:58AM ( 5 hours ago )
AP Business - Industries
Top diplomat: Iran must build missiles for defense
Iran's foreign minister says his country has no choice but to manufacture missiles for defense purposes
2:04PM ( 1 day ago )
Iran's top diplomat walks back from remark on missile talks
Iran's top diplomat backtracks more after his comments about country's missiles possibly being up for negotiations
1:20PM ( 1 day ago )
Iran, foreign minister walk back more from missile remarks
Iran backtracks some more after comments by its top diplomat about country's missiles being up for negotiations
8:10AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Business - Utilities
Man shouting 'You die' kills 33 at Japan anime studio
Authorities say a man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan, and set it on fire, killing 33 people
4:37PM ( 13 minutes ago )
Harper, Hoskins rally Phillies past Dodgers with 4-run 7th
Harper ties game with RBI single, Hoskins rips 2-RBI single in 7th inning to rally Philadelphia Phillies to 7-6 win over Los Angeles Dodgers
4:27PM ( 22 minutes ago )
Senators: Bill on 9/11 victims fund to be voted on next week
Senators from both parties say they have an agreement to vote on a bipartisan bill to ensure a victims' compensation fund related to the Sept. 11 attacks never runs out of money
4:17PM ( 32 minutes ago )
Chris Sale snaps Fenway losing streak, beats Blue Jays 5-0
Sale strikes out 12 in six shutout innings, sending Red Sox past Blue Jays 5-0 to end Fenway sked
4:13PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Across US, clergy mobilize to support vulnerable migrants
The prospect of a nationwide immigration sweep has provided evidence that legions of pastors and rabbis across the US stand ready to help vulnerable immigrants with offers of sanctuary and other services
4:12PM ( 37 minutes ago )