Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) on Monday questioned whether the Obama administration was trying to provoke Iran into an armed conflict.
The Iranian government claimed on Sunday that it had shot down a RQ-170 Sentinel — a U.S. high-altitude reconnaissance drone — that had flown into Iran’s eastern airspace.
The Pentagon later said the drone had malfunctioned and gone missing over western Afghanistan late last week, and denied it was shot down.
“If the American claims that the drone drifted into Iran after a mechanical malfunction are true, it serves as further evidence that our presence in Afghanistan is destabilizing the region,” Kucinich said in a statement. “Technical and mechanical malfunctions are a fact of life and exacerbated by the harsh conditions of the Afghan terrain. As long as the United States continues to operate in Afghanistan the unintended results of our actions will continue to destabilize the region.”
“If the Iranian claims are true, that a stealth drone was shot down while operating in Iranian airspace, the damage is even more serious,” he added. “The United States has no right to violate Iranian airspace; doing so would be a violation of international law and a serious provocation.”
“If the Administration is trying to stumble into war with Iran, this alleged violation would be a step in that direction,” Kucinich concluded.
Iran has been at odds with the U.S. and other western countries over its nuclear program, which Iran says is for peaceful purposes only. Last week, students stormed the British embassy in Tehran after Britain imposed new economic sanctions against Iran.