Rather than reveal any further unnecessary details to a potential enemy like Iran about destroying its drone on Thursday, July 18, in the Gulf of Hormuz after it came within 1,000 yards of the USS Boxer and ignored multiple calls to stand down. President Trump calmly confirmed the kill to a reporter with the assistance of National Security Adviser John Bolton, shared that he was not concern about a broader clash, and reiterated his position of strong warning that foolish aggression will be met with serious consequences.
President Trump replying to reporter question “Iran is denying that you shot down a drone yesterday. There’s no doubt about that, right?” said “No doubt about it, no. We shot it down. And of course, I’m sitting here behind the desk in the Oval Office. But John (Bolton), tell me please, John Bolton, are you there.” Bolton said, “There’s no question that this was an Iranian drone and the USS Boxer took it out as the president announced yesterday because it posed a threat to the ship and its crew. So it’s entirely the right thing to do.”
President Trump replying to a reporter question, “Are you concerned about a broader clash with Iran in the Strait of Hormuz?” said “No, not at all. We have the greatest people in the world. We have the greatest equipment in the world. We have the greatest ships, most deadly ships. We don’t have to use them but they’re the most deadly ships ever conceived. And we are not, we hope for their sake they don’t do anything foolish. If they do, they will pay a price like nobody’s ever paid a price.”
While an Iranian news agency reported Friday that the country’s armed forces say all Iranian drones in the Persian Gulf returned safely to their bases, Secretary Mike Pompeo was busy in South America today coordinating with Argentina government officials in Buenos Aries to hamper terrorist fundraising by designating the militant Iran-backed Hezbollah as a terrorist organization and targeting a senior operative.
Pompeo said, “I would like to commend Argentina for designating Hezbollah as a terrorist organization yesterday. This action will block its access to your country’s financial system and greatly diminish its capacity to fundraise throughout the region. We hope others here today will follow Argentina’s lead and its example.”
Finally, the U.S. State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program now offers up to $7 million for information leading to the capture of the operative, Salman Rauf Salman for his role in the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association Jewish Center or AMIA bombing that killed 85 people and wounded hundreds of others 25 years ago. Salman will also be designated a global terrorist by the U.S. Treasury Department, which denies him access to the U.S. financial system.
Pompeo said, “The U.S. is recommitting to the cause of justice for those killed in the AMIA (Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association Jewish Center) bombing and I mean it. Today, I am announcing two actions against a top Hezbollah operative for his role in the attack. Salman Rauf Salman. Salman served as the on the ground coordinator for the AMIA bombing and remains a wanted man who continues plotting terrorism on behalf of Hezbollah. The State Department’s Rewards for Justice Program is offering up to $7 million for information that will lead to his identification or his arrest. And the United States Department of the Treasury is also designating Salman as a specially designated global terrorist, which denies him access to the U.S. financial system. More broadly, the Trump administration has intensified U.S. actions against Iran and its terrorist proxies worldwide.”
Includes reporting from the Associated Press
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