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EghtesadOnline: The surveillance mission conducted by the United States over Iran appeared to be a minor episode designed to test Iranian forces' vigilance and determination to respond to US aggression, says a lawmaker.

"The incident could be seen as a US test of how vigilant Iranian military and security forces are and how determined they are to follow through with threats of giving a crushing response to any act of aggression," Mohammad Javad Jamali also told the Iranian Diplomacy website.

Iran on Thursday shot down an American spy drone, saying that it had violated the country's airspace in the south. However, Washington claimed that it was targeted in international airspace in "an unprovoked attack".

The RQ-4A Global Hawk unmanned aircraft, which is essentially a high-altitude robot used for surveillance over the ocean and coastal areas, was brought down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile, according to Financial Tribune.

Jamali, a member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, said the Islamic Republic clearly demonstrated that it takes security-related issues very seriously. 

"The security of Iran's sea, land and air borders is our redline and we don’t ask anyone's permission to protect them," he said.

US President Donald Trump initially said "Iran had made a very big mistake", but later said the shooting down of the drone was not "intentional", in an apparent turnaround amid fears the escalating tensions between the two countries could lead to an open confrontation in the Persian Gulf.

The New York Times on Thursday quoted a senior administration official as saying that US warplanes took to the air and ships were put in position for a retaliatory attack only for an order to come to stand down, without firing any weapons.

 

 

Ulterior Motives 

Jamali said such a scenario is also designed to exert more pressure on Arab countries to support US plans against Iran more strongly by highlighting alleged threats posed by Tehran to regional peace and security.

"In political and diplomatic fields, those behind such a scenario are seeking to form a consensus and a coalition against Tehran, particularly because it moved toward scaling back its nuclear commitments on May 8 and threatened to further reduce its commitments in two months," he said. 

The lawmaker noted that the United States wants to both stop Iran's actions in the nuclear arena and send a warning to the government in Tehran. 

Tehran said in May it would reduce compliance with the nuclear pact it agreed with world powers in 2015, in protest at the US decision to unilaterally pull out of the agreement and reimpose sanctions last year.

Iran added that it would start enriching uranium at a higher level unless European signatories to the deal, namely France, Britain and Germany, protect its economy from renewed US sanctions within 60 days.

The downing of the drone underscored the already tense relations between the two countries after Trump's accusations that Iran is to blame for recent explosions that damaged oil tankers south of the Strait of Hormuz, the vital waterway for much of the world's oil. 

Iran has denied involvement in the incidents.

The lawmaker said these allegations are part of US efforts to make a case against Iran at the United Nations and rally the world against the country.  

Jamali maintains that the developments unfolding in the Middle East are being orchestrated by Israel with the support of officials in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, as they all want to see tensions rise between Tehran and Washington.

"The Zionist regime's security lies in tensions and insecurity in other parts of the Middle East," he said.

 

Test Iran vigilance Foreign Surveillance surveillance mission US aggression