Iran Says "It Refrained" From Shooting Down US Plane With 35 People On Board

Following reports that the Trump Administration backed down from a 'retaliatory strike' against Iran, the commander of the IRGC offered some helpful "color" that we're sure will help assuage Washington's anger.

During a statement on Friday, Sardar Hajizadeh, commander of the Air Force's Corps of Air Force, revealed that Iran refrained from shooting down an American P8 Spy Plane flying nearby which Iran said had 35 people on board. According to Iran's Tasnim News Agency, the plane had been flying with the drone that had been shot down.

According to Hajizadeh, the spy plane left the area after it received Iran's warnings.

Iran

Sardar Hajizadeh

Iran has insisted it shot down the $100 million surveillance drone as it was flying 8 miles offshore, within the 12 mile barrier separating Iranian and international waters.

Hajizadeh said Iran didn't target the spy plane because its goal was to send Washington a message. However, he questioned if Washington would have been similarly restrained if it spotted an Iranian spy plane off the Atlantic Coast.

Trump ominously hinted at a violent reaction during a Thursday press conference before suggesting that the shooting of the dorne could have been a mistake.

The  spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry, meanwhile, said Tehran "responds to diplomacy with diplomacy, war with firm defense."

According to the New York Post, the pictures appear to show fragments of the Q-4A Global Hawk, which was shot down Thursday in what Iran claims was its territory. The US insists the drone was in international airspace.

Iran

Drone

Drones

Drone

Iranian state TV on Friday released images of what the IRGC said were pieces of the drone.

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