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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Iran threatens to shoot down more American drones

Tehran’s naval chief issued the warning after it shot down a US surveillance drone last week.

Iran displays debris from the drone (Borna Ghasemi/ ISNA/AP)
Iran displays debris from the drone (Borna Ghasemi/ ISNA/AP)

By Associated Press Reporters

Iran’s naval chief has said Tehran is capable of shooting down other American spy drones such as the one downed last week by Revolutionary Guard forces.

Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi’s warning came during a meeting with a group of defence officials.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Rear Adm Khanzadi as saying Iran can always deliver another “crushing response … and the enemy knows it”.

US president Donald Trump last week called off military strikes against Iran after the Iranians shot down a US surveillance drone, valued at over 100 million dollars (£78 million), on Thursday.

Iran claims that the drone violated its airspace, which the US denies.

Mr Trump, however, has also said that he appreciated Iran’s decision not to shoot down a manned US spy plane carrying 30 people in the same area as the drone.

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo and Saudi foreign minister Ibrahim Abdulaziz Al-Assaf (AP)

Meanwhile, US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia, where he is to meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the heightened tensions with the kingdom’s rival, Iran.

Before departing, Mr Pompeo said he would be talking to officials in the Persian Gulf as well as Asia and Europe as he sets out to build an international coalition against Tehran.

He said the US is prepared to negotiate with Iran, but also said new US sanctions will be announced on Monday.

Mr Pompeo was greeted upon his arrival in the Red Sea city of Jiddah by new US ambassador to Saudi Arabia John Abizaid and Saudi foreign minister Ibrahim al-Assaf.

Mr Pompeo will travel later to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates, a close US ally.

PA Media

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