Jun 24, 2019, 7:49 PM
Journalist ID: 1853
News Code: 83368192
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US failed play with UAV card

Tehran, June 24, IRNA - Once the tensions between Tehran and Washington have been increased by Iran's shot down of the US spy drone after it violated the country's airspace. The experts believe that the drone had entered Iran's airspace to achieve multiple goals.

On Thursday, June 20, the Air Defense Unit of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) had attacked and shot down the 'UAV RQ 4' called "Global Hawk".

Officials of the Islamic Republic of Iran call the US invasion of Iranian territory the decision by Iran to down the drone, while Americans believe that the UAV has been targeted over the Strait of Hormuz and international waters.

The reaction of the President of the United States to the Iranian measure was considerable and contemplative. He wrote in his Twitter page that "Iran made a big mistake". 

The next reaction, however, came with a dramatic easing, and during a joint news conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Trump said, "It's hard to believe that the attack was a deliberate one." 

"Probably someone mistakenly did it," the US president added. 

In the tensions between Iran and the United States, preserving the lives of forces of each other is a red line, and the authorities of both countries rely on this factor in their stances. For example, Trump claimed on his Twitter on Friday that he had ordered the stop, 10 minutes before the attack on three Iranian sites because 150 people would die.

In contrast, Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the IRGC Aerospace announced at a press conference the possibility of downing another US intelligence aircraft. He added, "At the moment of intercepting the UAV, another spy aircraft with 35 people was flying near it, we could have overthrown it, but we did not."

The legal issues have arisen in the US-Iran dispute over UAVs. The question is whether this happened in the Iranian territorial water or over international waters?

To answer this question, we need to refer to the 1982 Maritime Law Convention. Under the Convention, the territorial water is a maximum of 12 nautical miles (each mile is about 1852 meters) from the source line of the sea and the source line is the lowest seaward tide.

Now we have to assess the geographic coordinates of the Global Hawk drone; something that the Iranian and American authorities do not have the same view.

The IRGC officials have said that the UAV has been downed eight miles west of the coastline of Iran and Hormozgan and between Kertan and Mount Mubarak. In contrast, the US Army Central Command (Centcom) has measured the UAV's distance with Iranian border about 34 kilometers.

Experts in foreign policy and international relations have provided various and diverse reasons for drone mission, including scaring Iran to sit behind the negotiating table. Trump's government has tried to force Tehran to make a new deal, with various instruments ranging from economic sanctions to military threats which these efforts have so far failed.

In recent weeks, however, Trump's approach has changed somewhat, and he has dramatically adjusted his harsh tone concurrent with sanctions and economic pressure. The acceptance of the ruling system in Iran, the emphasis on the US' reluctance to change the regime, the sending of a few mediators, as well as efforts to negotiate and resolve peacefully disputes is part of Trump struggle.

Even in pursuit of the fall of the American drone, with the exception of Trump, tangible flexibility can also be seen in the stances of other senior US officials, including Brian Hook, the person in charge of Iran's affairs at the US Department of State. "Our diplomacy does not give Iran the right to respond militarily," Hook said Friday after a meeting with Saudi officials at a press conference. "Iran must respond to our diplomacy with diplomacy, not with military force."

In the eyes of some other experts, the United States, by sending its UAVs to Iran, has been trying to test the will and also the military capabilities of Iran. A number of experts also remind the US efforts to build international coalition against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and emphasize that Trump will raise the level of tension for political pressure on Iran.

The process of building coalition against Iran, though starting from the very first days of Trump’s term, has become more prominent in recent days.

After suspicious attacks on oil tankers in the Sea of Oman, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the United States is setting up an international coalition against Iran.

A few days ago, a similar remark by Pompeo was again repeated by Patrick Shanahan, the head of the Department of Defense who had just stepped down. In the gathering of journalists, he openly uncovered the anti-Iranian triangle, and emphasized that he is working with Pompeo and John Bolton, the White House National Security Advisor for international consensus on Iran.


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