US asked Iran for ‘limited air strike’ to save face after drone shootdown

TEHRAN, Jul. 07 (MNA) – The United States conveyed a message to Iran saying it wanted to conduct a limited strike against the country after its violating drone was shot down in the Persian Gulf, a senior Iranian commander said.

“After the downing of its intruding drone, the United States told us through diplomatic intermediaries that it wanted to carry out a limited operation in unimportant and deserted region to save face and asked us to avoid giving them a response, but Iran said it would regard any operation as the initiation of a war,”  Brigadier General Gholamreza Jalali, the head of Iran's Passive Defense, said on Sunday.

General Jalali rebuked the US’ hostile policies in the region, Washington’s warmongering rhetoric  against the Islamic Republic has increased under President Donald Trump, asserting that, however, any move against the integrity of Iran will be responded firmly.

A US Global Hawk spy drone intruded into Iranian airspace in June, and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps brought it down after the drone ignored Iran’s several warnings.

IRGC says there was another intruding US manned plane beside the Global Hawk but the force ‘refrained’ from targeting it.

After the incident, US President Donald Trump said that officials had been "cocked and loaded" to retaliate against Iran after he learned an Iranian missile system shot down a US military drone. However, the president claimed he decided to call off the mission after he learned 150 Iranians would die as a result of the strike.

In comments made a few hours after the incident, IRGC Commander Major General Hossein Salami said the shooting down of the US aircraft had a straightforward message that any foreign intrusion into Iran’s sovereign territories would draw a crushing response.

“The downing of the US drone had an explicit, decisive and clear message that defenders of the Islamic Iran’s borders will show decisive reactions to aggression against this territory by any alien,” he said.

“Borders are our red line, and any enemy violating these borders will not go back,” the commander underlined.

Tensions initially built up between US and Iran after President Trump withdrew Washington from the 2015 Nuclear Deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), and imposed severe sanctions against Tehran. Trump administration insists that they are ready for talks with Iran but Tehran says it will resist in face of all pressures and that there will be no talks with a party which has already violated many international agreements.


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