Iran Shoots Down US Spy Drone: Declares its ‘Ready For War'
Tehran alleged an RQ-4 Global Hawk was flying over Hormozgan
Iran has shot down one of the United States' $180million spy drones, military officials have confirmed.
But the US denies that the drone was in Iranian airspace, which the Revolutionary Guard has claimed.
Iranian commander Hossein Salam declared they are 'ready for war,' as the downing of the aircraft sent a clear message' to the Americans.
Tehran alleged an RQ-4 Global Hawk was flying over their southern coastal city of Hormozgan before it was shot down, but a U.S. official said it had been in international airspace.
Iran will now be able to steal secrets in examining the downed drone.
The MQ-4C soars to over 50,000ft can be operated from 9,400 miles away.
The drone comes with optical/infrared sensors - it is believed to be the first time one has been taken out.
The news comes as tension between Washington and Tehran increase amid economic sanctions and alleged Iranian attacks on shipping in the Straits of Hormuz.
Head of the Revolutionary Guard, Salami, said that Iran's borders 'represent our red line,' before a crowd in the western city of Sanandaj.
He added that 'Any enemy that violates the borders will be annihilated.'
According to his statement to the Tasnim news agency, the downing of the drone as 'a clear message' from the 'defenders of the borders' of Iran,
Iran will 'respond to all foreign aggression, and our reaction is, and will be, categorical and absolute.'
A spokesman for the U.S. military's Central Command, Navy Captain Bill Urban, refuted that no U.S. aircraft were flying over Iran on Wednesday.
U.S. military officials claimed Iran fired a missile at another drone last week that responded to the attack on two oil tankers near the Gulf of Oman.
Iran denies the attacks on the oil tankers.
Last week, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) suggested Presdient Donald Trump should consider the aggressive approach in responding to Iran’s saber-rattling in the Persian Gulf.
Tehran has denied involvement and suggested Washington could be the author of the attacks.
Tehran's top security official said Wednesday:
'There will be no war (between Iran and the U.S.) since there is no reason for a war,' said rear admiral Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council.
Presdient Donald Trump said that he does not intend for regime change in Iran.
"I’m not looking to hurt Iran at all. I’m looking to have Iran say, ‘no nuclear weapons,'" Trump said at the press conference in Japan.
Trump last weekend threatened that war would be "the official end of Iran," but this time seemed more open to sitting down with the country's leaders.
The two sides have also shown signs of negotiating as the United States prepares to deploy additional troops to the region.