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    Iran Summons Swiss Envoy to Voice Protest Over Airspace Violation by US Drone

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Political Affairs Seyyed Abbas Araqchi has voiced Tehran's protest to Swiss Ambassador to Iran Markus Leitner, acting on behalf of Washington in the Middle East country, over the recent incident with US spy drone's incursion into the country's airspace.

    "In talks late on Thursday, Araqchi told Markus Leitner — whose country represents the US interests in the Islamic Republic — that there was 'indisputable' evidence that the drone had violated Iran's airspace", the Iranian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Friday.

    Araqchi noted that Iran retrieved fragments of the downed drone from the country's territorial waters, while stressing that "Iran does not seek a war and conflict in the Persian Gulf." 

    The Iranian foreign minister also urged the United States not to take rash steps in the region.

    The comment comes as Iran's Tasnim agency and IRIB media outlet have published photos of what they claim is the debris of the downed US drone.

    The Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said on Thursday that it had shot down a US surveillance drone over the coastal Hormozgan province, facing the Persian Gulf, for violating Iran’s airspace. The US military initially denied the claims. US President Donald Trump previously said Iran made "a very big mistake" but later told reporters he doubted the drone shootdown was intentional.

    ​The incident follows a number of alleged attacks on tankers in the Gulf of Oman that were blamed on Iran by the United States - the claim Iran denies. The allegation prompted the United States to enhance its military presence in the region by dispatching additional troops.

    Relations between Iran and the United States have been under strain for more than a year after President Trump moved to withdraw the US from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and impose tough sanctions on the Islamic Republic.

    A year on from the US withdrawal, Tehran moved to suspend some of its commitments under the deal.

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    drone, Iran, United States
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