Was the massive U.S. surveillance drone shot down by an Iranian missile in international waters, as the U.S. claims, or was it flying over Iranian territory in the Persian Gulf, as Iran claims? I'm sure the exact location of this incident will eventually be known, but the incident itself could hardly come as a surprise to anyone paying attention to recent events (“Trump tweets U.S. was ‘cocked and loaded’ to strike Iran, but called it off over loss of life,” June 21).
The United States has attempted for months to bully and prod Iran into making some sort of military response to a long list of provocations: our unilateral withdrawal from the nuclear treaty which we helped to negotiate, the piling on of economic sanctions which have crippled Iran's economy, ongoing threats to other countries doing business with Iran, the labeling of the Iranian special military force as a terrorist organization, etc.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton have had war and regime change in Iran on their wish list for years. Saudi Arabia, the Persian Gulf states and Israel have acted as the cheering section for our aggressive moves in the region. Whatever the outcome of this latest incident, I find myself wondering how the U.S. would respond to discovering a similarly massive and outfitted surveillance drone from another country flying anywhere near our coast. Does anyone doubt that it would be blown out of the sky in a heartbeat?
What is really surprising in recounting our recent history with Iran is that this country has been so restrained in its response to U.S. provocations, not that it has finally had enough.