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AFP
July 19, 2019

US destroys Iranian drone in Hormuz: Trump

Top Story

AFP
July 19, 2019

WASHINGTON: Upping the ante, the US military shot down an Iranian drone on Thursday that came within 1,000 yards of one of its naval vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, President Donald Trump said.

The USS Boxer “took defensive action” against the Iranian drone as it was “threatening the safety of the ship and the ship´s crew,” Trump announced at the White House. “The drone was immediately destroyed,” he added.

The downing of the drone comes at a time of mounting tensions in the Gulf region between the US and Iran which has been slapped with a raft of sanctions by the Trump administration.

“This is the latest of many provocative and hostile actions by Iran, against vessels operating in international waters,” said Trump. “The United States reserves the right to defend our personnel, our facilities, and interests and calls upon all nations to condemn Iran´s attempts to disrupt freedom of navigation and global commerce. “I also call on other nations to protect their ships as they go through the Strait and to work with us in the future.”

Meanwhile, the US Treasury named a group of companies in Iran, Belgium and China to its sanctions blacklist Thursday for acting as a supply network for Tehran´s nuclear enrichment program.

The companies served as a procurement network for Iran´s Centrifuge Technology Company (TESA), which produces enrichment centrifuges for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), the Treasury said.

The network was led by Iranian firm Bakhtar Raad Sepahan and its overseas affiliates. It also included a Chinese firm, Henan Jiayuan Aluminum Industry Company, which was also sanctioned. Other sanctioned entities are front companies based in China and Belgium, the Treasury said.

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