A U.S. official has confirmed that an American drone was shot down by an Iranian missile, marking a potential escalation in already sky-high tensions between the rival nations.
According to media linked to Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, forces intercepted a RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aerial reconnaissance vehicle over the Kouhmobarak district in the southern province of Hormozgan (located about 750 miles from the Iranian capital). However, the U.S. official disputed the claim, telling the Reuters news agency that the craft was targeted in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
The development comes on the backdrop of repeated attacks over the past month, attributed to Iran, targeting shipping assets in the region. In response, the Pentagon has increased its military presence in the Middle East even as both Washington and Tehran reiterate their opposition to direct conflict.
Meanwhile, the Islamic Republic has reportedly quadrupled its stockpile of low-enriched uranium and warned that it could boost production to near-weapons-grade levels unless European powers introduce by the end of the month a mechanism to circumvent U.S. economic sanctions by facilitating continued non-dollar trade.
The Media Line discussed the latest developments and the spectrum of possible U.S. responses with Dr. Chuck Freilich, a former deputy national security adviser in Israel and currently a senior fellow at Harvard’s Belfer Center.https://themedialine.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/Dr.-Chuck-Freilich-Interview-U.S.-Iran-Tensions.wav