Iran says it “does not seek war” but reserves its right under the U.N. Charter “to take all appropriate necessary measures against any hostile act violating its territory.”
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi says in letters to the U.N. secretary-general and Security Council obtained Thursday by The Associated Press that the Islamic Republic targeted a U.S. drone which violated its airspace and “is determined to vigorously defend its land, sea and air.”
He said Iran acted under Article 51 of the U.N. Charter. It allows military action in self-defense “if an armed attack occurs.”
Ravanchi called the U.S. “provocative act … a blatant violation of international law” and the U.N. Charter.
He said: “The international community is called upon to demand the United States to put an end to its continued unlawful and destabilizing measures in the already volatile region of the Persian Gulf.”
Iran is accusing the United States of “a very dangerous and provocative act” and is urging the international community to demand that the U.S. end its unlawful actions and drone spying.
Iran’s U.N. Ambassador Majid Takht Ravanchi says a U.S. drone despite repeated radio warnings entered into Iranian airspace after conducting “an overflight through the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar port in a full stealth mode as it had turned off its identification equipment and engaged in a clear spying operation.”
Ravanchi said in a letter to the U.N. secretary-general and the Security Council obtained late Thursday that according to Iran’s Armed Forces General Staff after the “U.S. unmanned aircraft system” entered Iranian airspace and its air defense system targeted “the intruding aircraft.”
The U.N. says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is urging all parties to “exercise maximum restraint” and avoid any further escalation following Iran’s shooting down of an American drone.
U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Thursday that Guterres is “very concerned” and is calling on the parties to “avoid any action that could inflame the situation.”
Dujarric said the secretary-general stresses again “that the world cannot afford a major conflict in that area.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is appealing to “all peace-loving countries” to support American efforts to halt what he called escalating Iranian provocations.
Speaking Thursday at a reception for the New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Netanyahu said that “in the last 24 hours, Iran has intensified its aggression against the United States and against all of us,” adding that “Israel stands by the United States on this.”
Israeli officials have welcomed Washington’s mounting pressure on Tehran, but steered clear of calling for a conflagration that might put Israel in the line of fire.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is warning the U.S. against using force on Iran, saying it would have catastrophic consequences.
Speaking on Thursday during a televised call-in show, Putin said the U.S. military action against Iran would be a “catastrophe for the region as a minimum.”
He added that it would trigger an escalation of hostilities with unpredictable results.
Putin noted that Iran has abided by the terms of a nuclear deal despite the U.S. withdrawal, adding that he considers U.S. sanctions against Iran unfounded.
The U.S. military’s Central Command has confirmed that Iranian forces shot down a U.S. drone, an RQ-4 Global Hawk, saying the downing took place in international airspace and describing it as an “unprovoked attack.”
A statement from CENTCOM says the unmanned aircraft — an RQ-4A Global Hawk maritime surveillance drone — was “shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system while operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz” early on Thursday.
The statement further said that “Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false” and that “this was an unprovoked attack on a U.S. surveillance asset in international airspace.”