Updated in: 17 September 2021 - 02:01
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TEHRAN (defapress)- Iran's Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Majid Takht Ravanchi said that the US drone downed early on Thursday was spying on Tehran and violating the country’s airspace, highlighting that according to the UN charter, the IRGC was legally entitled to shoot it down after several unheeded warnings.
News ID: 77839
Publish Date: 22June 2019 - 16:13

Drone Downing Based on UN Charter’s Article 51"The American drone did not pay attention to Iran's successive alerts, and there was no other option than downing it when it was flying" over Iran's territorial waters, Takht Ravanchi said in an interview with NPR.

"You cannot negotiate with somebody who has a knife in his hand and is putting the knife under your throat," he added.

"That cannot be acceptable by anybody. Any reasonable person cannot accept to have negotiations with somebody who is threatening you."

Takht Ravanchi accused American leaders of unleashing "economic warfare" against Iran in an attempt to isolate the country and forcing it back to the negotiating table.

Yet forging common ground, Takht Ravanchi argued, is surely within the power of the US, adding "And then we noticed that a drone is getting close to our airspace," Takht Ravanchi said.

He said unsuccessful attempts were made by radio to communicate with the drone to warn it away from Iranian airspace.

"And all of a sudden, we noticed that it was entering our airspace," he said. "At that time since it was a spy drone, [we] were left with no other option, but to shoot it down."

Iran was acting in accordance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, a provision allowing military action in situations involving self-defense, he said.

"This was an act of provocation on [the] part of United States, and we asked the international community to demand from the United States to stop these sort of actions, which is somehow endangering international peace and security."

Since the drone was shot down, Iranian officials have recovered portions of the aircraft that "naturally fell down within territorial waters of the Islamic Republic of Iran," Takht Ravanchi added.

"So that shows, by itself, that the drone was shot down within the Iranian airspace," he said.

Asked whether Iran is trying to move toward a confrontation with the US, Takht Ravanchi said, "Definitely not."

"We are not seeking war not only with the US, but also with others," he continued. "It is not in our interest to have a conflict in our region because, to be very frank with you, conflict in our region will be detrimental to all regional countries, the US, and everybody."

Takht Ravanchi said in a war with Iran, there would be no winner or loser. Instead, it would be a "hell, which will be felt by everybody”.

He said, Iran needs to be prepared to defend the country's "territorial integrity" at sea, in the air and on the land "against any intrusion by the US, or any other country," echoing a letter he wrote to United Nations Secretary General António Guterres and the UN Security Council making the case that his country has a right to self-defense.

In the letter, Takht Ravanchi denounced Washington’s provocative moves in the region, calling on the international body to confront the US acts to sabotage stability in the Middle East.

“Iran condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this irresponsible and provocative wrongful act by the United States, which entails its international responsibility,” Takht Ravanchi added.

Takht Ravanchi wrote in the letter that Iran had the right to defend its sovereignty according to the world body's Charter.

“While the Islamic Republic of Iran does not seek war, it reserves its inherent right, under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, to take all appropriate necessary measures against any hostile act violating its territory, and is determined to vigorously defend its land, sea and air."

He called on the international community to pressure the US into ending such "unlawful and destabilizing" actions in the Persian Gulf region.

"This is not the first provocative act by the United States against Iran's territorial integrity," he said, reminding the UN that Iran has always protested the US move through Washington's interest section in the embassy of Switzerland in Tehran.

Earlier on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that his country has retrieved parts of the US Global Hawk that was shot down on Thursday morning from the country's territorial waters, rejecting Washington's claim that the aircraft was targeted in international waters.

"[The] US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode and violated Iranian airspace," Zarif wrote on Twitter on Thursday night, adding that the Global Hawk drone "was targeted near... Kouh-e Mobarak" region in the Central district of Jask in Hormuzgan province after the aircraft violated Iran's airspace.

Zarif even provided the coordinates where the US aircraft was intercepted, and added, "We've retrieved sections of the US military drone in OUR territorial waters where it was shot down."

An “American spying drone” was shot down by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force over Iranian airspace at dawn on Thursday. According to the IRGC, the US military surveillance drone was flying with its tracking equipment switched off at the time, violating international aviation regulations.

The United States had confirmed that one of its reconnaissance palnes was shot down by Iraniain air defenses, but denied that it intruded into Tehran’s airspace at the time.

Tehran has released two videos that show the flight route of the plane as well as the moment it was brought down by an Iran-made air defense shield called 'Third of Khordad'.

In an earlier tweet, Zarif stated that Iran "will take this US new aggression to [the] UN and show that the US is lying about international waters".

The Iranian foreign minister noted that Tehran does not want war, "but will zealously defend our skies, land and waters".

Commander of the IRGC Major General Hossein Salami stressed that the move should alert Washington officials to stay away.

The incident sent "a clear message" to the US and other enemies that Iran will show a firm and crushing response to any aggression, Salami stated.

"Borders are our red lines and any enemy which violates them will not go back home and will be annihilated. The only way for enemies is to respect Iran's territorial integrity and national interests," the major general noted.

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