July 24, 2019 | The Times of Israel
A U.S. warship 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 and Trump came close to retaliating with a military strike.
If you haven’t yet downloaded our special report prayer guide on Iranian and U.S. military leaders, you need to! It’s full of specific information about who is making military decisions for both countries.
In remarks at the White House, Trump blamed Iran for a “provocative and hostile” action and said the U.S. responded in self-defense.
He 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….
“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.”
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.”…
Iran claimed the U.S. drone violated its airspace; the Pentagon denied this.
Iran’s foreign minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, said Thursday that Iran and the US were only “a few minutes away from a war” after Tehran downed the American drone. He spoke to US-based media on the sidelines of a visit to the United Nations….
… Thursday, the U.S. sanctioned a number of companies and individuals it said were involved in an illicit network to procure materials for Iran’s nuclear program.
The sanctions come as Iran has breached limits on uranium production set under the 2015 international agreement to limit its nuclear program amid the growing bite of U.S. sanctions that were imposed as part of Trump’s decision to withdraw from that pact.
According to the US Treasury Department, the network included five individuals and seven entities, among them front-companies based in Belgium and China that worked to procure goods for Iran’s Centrifuge Technology Company, which produces centrifuges needed for uranium enrichment….
“The U.S. government is deeply concerned by the Iranian regime’s uranium enrichment and other provocative behaviors, and will continue to target all who provide support to Iran’s nuclear program,” he added. (Excerpted from The Times of Israel article by AP and TOI Staff)