Trump blasts Iran’s ‘big mistake’ after drone shot down
US President Donald Trump declared "Iran made a very big mistake!" after a US drone was shot down in international airspace near the Persian Gulf and refused to rule out going to war with the Islamic nation.
"You'll find out," Mr Trump responded when asked whether the US would respond to the attack or go to war with Iran.
"Obviously, you know, we're not going to be talking too much about it. You'll find out. They made a very big mistake.
President Trump addresses Iran: "This drone was in international waters, clearly. We have it all documented . . . They made a very bad mistake." pic.twitter.com/tShg4LCRzc— The White House (@WhiteHouse) June 20, 2019
"Probably Iran made a mistake. I would imagine it was a general or somebody who made a mistake in shooting that drone down.
"I find it hard to believe it was intentional. I think it could've been somebody that was loose and stupid. It was a very foolish move, that I can tell you."
He denied that his advisers were pushing him to start a war with Iran.
"No, not at all. Not at all. In fact in many cases it's the opposite," he said. "Look, I said I want to get out of these endless wars. I campaigned on that. I want to get out.
"This is a new fly in the ointment, what happened shooting down the drone. And this country will not stand for it, that I can tell you."
The incident has left the Trump White House confronting dramatically increased tensions with Iran, which has declared it is ready for war.
The New York Post reports that Iran's Revolutionary Guard said it had shot down an "intruding American spy drone" after it entered into the country's territory.
Relations between Iran and the US have soured since America announced it would send 1000 more troops to the region after Washington said Tehran was involved in attacking two oil tankers.
According to CNN, Mr Trump has sought to calm nerves within his administration and continues to privately express wariness at wading into another foreign conflict.
"Don't worry about a thing," Trump told Fox News. "Everything's under control."
Iran said the Revolutionary Guard took down the drone, claiming it flew into Iranian territory - an account hotly disputed by American officials, who say the aircraft was operating in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
"Iranian reports that the aircraft was over Iran are false," US Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said. "This was an unprovoked attack on a US surveillance asset in international airspace."
Revolutionary Guard Major General Hossein Salami warned that Iran is "totally ready and prepared for war."
"The downing of the American drone is an open, clear and categorical message, which is: the defenders of the borders of Iran will decisively deal with any foreign aggression," Maj Gen Salami said. "This is the way the Iranian nation deals with its enemies."
The Department of Defence announced it would send 1,000 more troops to the region after the US said Tehran was involved in attacking two oil tankers.
In 2018, President Trump pulled the US out of the Iran nuclear deal which was struck in 2015 with the Islamic republic and the US, UK, Russia, France, China and Germany in an effort to limit Iran's nuclear development in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions.
The deal was a prized foreign policy win for former US President Barack Obama. But since he began his campaign for the 2016 presidential election, Mr Trump has derided the deal as weak and declared it would not stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.
In the past 12 months, the US has imposed much harsher sanctions on Iran and the Islamic nation's economy has declined sharply as a result.
Iran threatened this week to violate the nuclear agreement, saying that by the end of June it will have stockpiled more nuclear fuel than was permitted under the international agreement.
It also flagged the possibility that it could begin the enrichment nuclear fuel to higher levels than what it needs for nuclear power plants - raising fears Iran is moving to build nuclear weapons.