| 8 February 2023, Wednesday |

Iran says it warned off U.S. drones near its Gulf drills

Iran’s military has warned US drones not to approach Iranian war games near the Gulf’s mouth, according to state broadcaster IRIB on Tuesday.

The annual exercises ended on Tuesday, just a few weeks before Tehran and world powers resume talks to resurrect a 2015 nuclear deal.

“These aircraft (U.S. RQ-4 and MQ-9 drones) changed course after approaching the borders of the Islamic Republic of Iran following the air defense’s interception and decisive warning,” IRIB reported.

The exercises extended from the east of the Hormuz Strait to the north of the Indian Ocean and parts of the Red Sea. Approximately one-fifth of the world’s oil consumption passes through the strategic Strait of Hormuz waterway in the Gulf.

Since 2018, when former US President Donald Trump pulled out of the nuclear deal and reimposed harsh sanctions on Iran, there have been periodic clashes in the Gulf between Iran’s military and US forces.

Iran has reacted by violating the agreement’s limits on its nuclear program.

Indirect talks between Iran and the administration of US President Joe Biden to resurrect the pact, which have been stalled since the election of Iran’s hardline President Ebrahim Raisi in June, are set to resume in Vienna on Nov. 29.

  • Reuters