US officials are expressing “strong concerns” at the Iranian military’s attempt to shoot down a military drone looming off the Iranian coast, saying that transmitted a complaint by way of the Swiss embassy.
Iran’s Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi confirmed the incident but insisted that the drone was inside Iranian airspace at the time, and that chasing it out with warplanes was a legitimate defensive action.
US officials maintain that the drone was just slightly outside of Iranian airspace, but the difference in the two versions is only one of a couple of miles. Defense Minister Vahidi also said Iran would follow up on the claimed violation with “the appropriate international bodies.”
In the end, few nations are liable to blame Iran for acting against a US drone after years of administration bellicosity toward them either way, especially since the drone wasn’t even damaged in the chase. And while the media may be hysterical for a few days about “Iranian aggression” or the fact that the incident happened before the US election but was hushed up, only to emerge immediately thereafter, it is unlikely to lead to any real policy changes; just another example of the ‘background noise’ in the tense US-Iran relationship.