The US State Department has denied reports about US President Donald Trump allegedly passing a message about its planned attack to Tehran via an Omani channel, confirming Iran’s statement that no US message had been received.
“Reports that a message was passed last night to the Iranians via an Omani back channel are completely false. These reports are pure Iranian propaganda. #Iran needs to meet our diplomacy with diplomacy”, the US State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus wrote on Twitter late on Friday.
Reuters reported on Friday that Tehran had received a message from Trump, sent via Oman, warning it about the US plans to attack the Islamic Republic in the wake of the downing of a US spy drone over Iran. According to Reuters, Tehran was given a short period of time to respond to the warning, but Keivan Khosravi, a spokesman for Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, denied the report.
Earlier that day, Trump said that the US military was ready to strike three targets in Iran in response to the downing of the US drone but he called off the attack 10 minutes before it was set to be carried out because he was told some 150 people would die.
The tensions between the two countries have risen after the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said on Thursday that it had shot down a US spy drone over the coastal Hormozgan province for crossing into Iran’s airspace. The US military subsequently confirmed that the drone had been downed, but insisted it was an unprovoked attack, claiming that the aircraft was flying over international waters
Reacting to the developments, Trump initially said Iran made “a very big mistake” but later told reporters he doubted it was done intentionally. Some US lawmakers, however, have called for taking action against Iran over the incident.