Poll: Do You Support President Trump's Decision To Call Off Strikes On Iran?
How close is US to war with Iran? (poll below)
Tensions between the United States and Iran have been at fever pitch since an unmanned US surveillance drone was shot down early on Thursday by Iranian forces.
In a series of Twitter posts on Friday, US President Donald Trump said he was prepared to strike three different Iranian targets in retaliation, but called off the operation at the 11th hour because such a response would not have been "proportionate".
"I asked, how many will die. 150 people, sir, was the answer from a General. 10 minutes before the strike I stopped it, not proportionate to shooting down an unmanned drone," he said, adding that he was "in no hurry" to confront Iran.
The US and Iran have been locked in a tense standoff since Trump's decision last year to unilaterally withdraw Washington from a multi-lateral accord that curbed Tehran's nuclear program and reimposed crippling economic sanctions.
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The situation escalated in recent weeks following suspected attacks on six commercial tankers in the Gulf, and appeared to had reached a tipping point on Thursday when Iranian forces announced the shooting down of the US drone.
Iran says the aircraft violated its airspace, but the US insists it was hit above international waters.
Iran's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) said on Friday that a second manned US aircraft was flying close to the Navy RQ-4 Global Hawk that was downed, but said Iranian forces chose not to attack the plane as it carried about 35 crew. There has been no comment by the US about a second manned aircraft.
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General Amir Ali Hajizadeh said the IRGC shot down the spy drone after issuing several warnings.
"Iranian forces have shown our national security is a red line. We gave a warning to this drone in two steps. And several times in each step. This drone has a communications system that transfers the message back to base. Unfortunately they did not respond. We gave a last warning at 3:55am and when it continued into our territory, it was shot down at 4:05am," he told reporters.
The latest developments have prompted alarm across the world, with a number of global airlines re-routing flights to avoid the region. UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, meanwhile, called for de-escalation and dialogue. He urged leaders in Washington and Tehran to have "nerves of steel".
While war seems to have been averted, at least for now, but much remains uncertain.
What do you think? Was President Trump correct by calling off new strikes to Iran in retaliation to the downed US drone?
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