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PressTV-Iran refrains from hitting intruding manned US plane: IRGC
A senior IRGC commander says Iran refrained from shooting down a US plane with 35 people on board in the Persian Gulf.

22 June 2019 | Staff | Press.TV

US President Donald Trump has said that he would be Iran’s “best friend” and that the Islamic republic could be a “wealthy” country if it stopped pursuing nuclear weapons. Iran’s leadership has repeatedly expressed their firm opposition to the development and use of nuclear weapons.

“They’re not going to have a nuclear weapon. We’re not going to have Iran have a nuclear weapon,” Trump told reporters outside the White House on Saturday.

“When they agree to that, they’re going to have a wealthy country. They’re going to be so happy, and I’m going to be their best friend. I hope that happens,” he added.

Commenting on Trump’s statement, American political analyst and activist Myles Hoenig said, “It is hard to get rid of something (nuclear weapons) you never had to begin with.”

“We are definitely seeing in the Trump White House a stark division between those who promote war and those who look for a more peaceful approach,” he said.

“It is ironic that Trump is seen as the peacemaker, as he welcomes and even encourages hate speech here at home and directed at others outside the US (immigrants, for example),” he told Press TV.

“But one also has to question his reasoning abilities as all allies support the Iran nuclear agreement and he has pulled the US out of it for contradictory arguments. Is he unable to comprehend the reality of Iran abiding by the agreement or is he, like all presidents before him being pulled to war by more powerful forces?” he asked.

Trump thanks Iran for not shooting down US plane

Trump then praised Iran for not shooting down a manned plane with 38 people on board when it decided to shoot down an unmanned American surveillance drone on Thursday.

Trump made the comments a day after Iran announced that its forces refrained from shooting down the manned plane that was accompanying the American spy drone which was shot down in the Persian Gulf after intruding into the Iranian airspace.

“There was a plane with 38 people yesterday, did you see that? I think that’s a big story. They had it in their sights and they didn’t shoot it down. I think they were very wise not to do that. And we appreciate that they didn’t do that. I think that was a very wise decision,” Trump told reporters.

Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) announced on Thursday that its air defense force had shot down an intruding American spy drone in the country’s southern coastal province of Hormozgan.

The IRGC said in a statement that the US-made Global Hawk surveillance drone was brought down by its Air Force near the Kouh-e Mobarak region, which sits in the central district of Jask County, after the aircraft violated Iranian airspace.

The IRGC Aerospace Force on Friday released the first photos of the wreckage of the downed US spy drone.

It displayed parts of the doomed drone, refuting earlier claims by the US that the drone was flying over international waters, and had not violated the Iranian airspace.

“Along with the US drone, there was also an American P-8 plane with 35 people on board,” Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the commander of the Aerospace Division of the IRGC told reporters on Friday.

“This plane also entered our airspace and we could have targeted it, but we did not because our purpose behind shooting down the American drone was to give a warning to terrorist American forces,” Hajizadeh added.

Trump seeks more sanctions against Iran

After praising Iran’s restraint, Trump, however, threatened the country with imposing additional sanctions and taking military action to prevent Tehran from obtaining what he called nuclear weapons.

“We are putting additional sanctions on Iran,” Trump said. “In some cases we are going slowly, but in other cases we are moving rapidly.”

In a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe last week in Tehran, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said, “I have issued a fatwa (religious decree) prohibiting the production of nuclear weapons, but you need to know that if we were after building nuclear arms, the United States could not do anything about it.”

The Leader emphasized that Washington is in no position to decide which country can be in possession of nuclear arms while it is, itself, stockpiling several thousands of nuclear warheads.

American journalist and political commentator Don DeBar believes the US military buildup in the Middle East is “the setup work before the ‘Big Break’ in negotiations” with Iran.

‘Iran should remain strong against Trump’

American political analyst Dennis Etler told Press TV on Friday that Iran should remain firm and resolute against Trump.

“Trump’s decision to hold off a military strike against Iran is in keeping with his pattern of bluff and bluster. So long as Iran remains strong and resolute Trump will back off. He has his pit-bulls, Bolton and Pompeo on a short leash,” he stated.

“At least in this case he doesn’t want blood on his hands,” the scholar said, after Trump said a US strike on 3 different Iranian sites would have killed 150 people but he cancelled it 10 minutes before the attack was going to be launched.

Original Link: Trump says will be Iran’s ‘best friend,’ thanks for not downing US plane

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