Fri, 13 Dec 2019

Washington [US], July 19 (ANI): The United States has destroyed an Iranian drone that came 1000 yards close to its warship USS Boxer in the Strait of Hormuz, said President Donald Trump on Thursday.

"The Boxer took defensive action against an Iranian drone which had closed into a very near distance, approximately 1,000 yards, ignoring multiple calls to stand down and was threatening the safety of the ship and the ship's crew. The drone was immediately destroyed," Trump said in a video he tweeted from his official account.

"I want to apprise everyone of an incident in the Strait of Hormuz today, involving USSBoxer, a U.S. Navy amphibious assault ship. The BOXER took defensive action against an Iranian drone," he tweeted.

This move might escalate further escalate tensions between the two countries, who in recent time witnessed increased in the drumbeat of aggression.

The US president described it as "the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran against vessels operating in international waters".

"The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, facilities, and interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran's attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce," he said.

Trump also called other nations to protect their ships while passing to the Strait and "to work with us in the future".

The incident comes amid strained ties between Iran and the US after the latter pulled out from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPoA) last year, blaming Tehran for supporting state-sponsored terrorism and conflicts.

The tensions began in 2018 when US President Donald Trump withdrew from a landmark nuclear deal JCPoA last year. Following which, Washington increased its drumbeat of aggression and re-imposed sanctions on Tehran.The pact was signed by five countries -- the US, the UK, Russia, China and Germany, and the European Union -- with an aim to limiting Iran's civilian energy programme, thereby preventing it from developing nuclear weapons at some point in the future, in exchange for relief from sanctions that were crippling the country's economy.

A year after the US pulled out of the deal, Iran announced its partial withdrawal from the agreement.

While Tehran is yet to withdraw fully from the accord, it recently announced its decision to increase nuclear enrichment in response to the new US sanctions.

Recently, the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran recently announced that the country has officially surpassed the 3.67 per cent uranium enrichment limit set under the 2015 pact and could consider increasing the stockpile to 20 per cent in the future. (ANI)

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