President Donald Trump appeared to try to cool down tensions between the U.S. and Iran on Thursday after a U.S. drone was shot down by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard.
Iran claimed the drone was in Iranian territory, but the U.S. has maintained that it was flying over international waters. Trump framed it Thursday as more of an isolated mistake than an intentional act of hostility by Iran.
“I find it hard to believe it was intentional,” Trump said, according to CNN. “I think it could’ve been somebody that was loose and stupid. It was a very foolish move, that I can tell you.”
More of Trump’s comments on the incident:
“Probably Iran made a mistake. I would imagine a general or somebody who made a mistake in shooting that drone down. And fortunately that drone was unarmed—it was not—there was no man in it, and there was no—it was just—it was over international waters, clearly over international waters, but we didn’t have a man or woman in the drone, we had nobody in the drone. Would’ve made a big difference, let me tell you. Would’ve made a big, big difference.
“But, I have a feeling—I may be wrong, and I may be right, but I’m right a lot—I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody that shouldn’t have been doing what they did. I think they made a mistake. And I’m not just talking about the country made a mistake, I think that somebody under the command of that country made a big mistake.”
While it appears this drone incident won’t directly lead to any military retaliation by the U.S., based on President Trump’s comments, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has warned Iran against any further action that could be perceived as hostile or aggressive.
“[Trump] believes that we’re getting into a bad space, and that his options are running out,” Graham said, according to CBS News. “He’s not going to relieve sanctions because the Iranians are worse than they’ve been.
“Here’s what Iran needs to get ready for, severe pain, inside their country,” Graham continued. “If they’re itching for a fight, they are going to get one.”