In the wake of the downing of a U.S. surveillance drone in the Persian Gulf, Iran has taken the diplomatic offensive, handing a protest note to the United Nations.
In a letter to UN Chief Antonio Guterres, Iran's UN Envoy Majid Takht Ravanchi accused the United States of violation of Iranian airspace and "a very dangerous and provocative act against the territorial integrity of the Islamic Republic of Iran."
Ravanchi was referring to the U.S. drone downed in the region Thursday morning by the Iranian revolutionary guards, IRGC. U.S. sources have maintained that the drone was flying in international airspace when it was shot down.
The Iranian diplomat said in his letter, the drone "conducted an overflight through the Strait of Hormuz to Chabahar port in a full stealth mode as it had turned off its identification equipment and engaged in a clear spying operation."
Earlier, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif had said in a tweet that Iran will take the case to the UN.
“At 00:14 US drone took off from UAE in stealth mode & violated Iranian airspace. It was targeted at 04:05 at the coordinates (25°59'43"N 57°02'25"E) near Kouh-e Mobarak,” Zarif had tweeted, saying also that Iran had retrieved sections of the drone in Iranian waters.
In his letter to the UN Chief, Ravanchi added similar details about the flight, claiming that the unmanned aircraft: "despite repeated radio warnings, entered into the Iranian airspace where the air defense system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, acting under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, targeted the intruding aircraft at 04:05 hours local time on Thursday near the Kouh-e Mobarak region in the central district of Jask in the Islamic Republic of Iran."
In a strongly worded complaint Ravanchi wrote: " Such a provocative act is a blatant violation of international law and the Charter of the United Nations," adding that "Iran condemns, in the strongest possible terms, this irresponsible and provocative wrongful act by the United States, which entails its international responsibility."
Iran's letter further warned, "While the Islamic Republic of Iran does not seek war, it reserves its inherent right, under Article 51 of the United Nations Charter, to take all appropriate necessary measures against any hostile act violating its territory, and is determined to vigorously defend its land, sea and air."
Meanwhile, Iran called on the international community "to demand the United States to put an end to its continued unlawful and destabilizing measures in the already volatile region of the Persian Gulf."
Tensions in the Persian Gulf and Gulf of Oman region have been escalating during the past weeks following attacks on oil tankers in the region. International players have blamed Iran for the attacks, but Iran has denied involvement.