Iran says its military warned off US drones

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The Iranian flag is seen in this June 10, 2021, file photo.

Iran on Tuesday said its military warned off U.S. drones it says approached during the country’s annual war games exercises.

“These aircraft [RQ-4 and MQ-9 U.S. drones] changed their route after approaching the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the air defence’s interception and decisive warning,” state media IRIB reported, according to Reuters.

The incident came as Iran was conducting its annual war games that in parts of the Red Sea, north of the Indian Ocean and east of the Strait of Hormuz. 

“We are familiar with false reports emanating from Iranian state media as of late. Again, we are not seeing operation reports that suggest the Iranian military has prevented U.S. forces from fulfilling its objectives in the region,” U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee, a spokesperson for Centcom, said in a statement to The Hill. 

The reports from Iran come weeks before Iran and the U.S. are set to resume talks to reenter the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear deal.

These will be the first talks regarding reentering the nuclear deal that former President Trump exited from in 2018 that the U.S. will directly participate in as previous communications in the spring were indirect. 

The six rounds of indirect negotiations that occurred earlier this year ended in June when Iran elected a new president, but State Department spokesperson Ned Price said the U.S.’s strategy in the talks will not change.

​​”We have been unambiguous when it comes to our position that there was tremendous progress in rounds one through six in these talks in Vienna. It would be neither productive nor wise to take up from any other position from where we left off in June, from the conclusion in the sixth round,” Price said.

— Updated at 2:32 p.m.

Tags Donald Trump Iran Iran–United States relations Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action Nuclear program of Iran

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