Trump Says 'You'll Find Out' if U.S. Will Strike Iran for Downing Drone
U.S. President Donald Trump said Thursday that he is not yet making public how he will respond to the shooting down of a U.S .drone by Iran.
"You will find out. Obviously, you know, we're not going to be talking too much about it," he said in the White House.
"They made a very big mistake," Trump said.
"This country will not stand for it, that I can tell you," he added.
Trump however suggested that the drone's shooting down might have been unintentional.
"I find it hard to believe it was intentional," Trump said at the White House in comments that appeared to downplay the incident, despite soaring tension in the strategic Strait of Hormuz area.
"I have a feeling that it was a mistake made by somebody who should not have been doing," he said.
Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps earlier said it had brought down the surveillance drone after it entered its country's airspace. The Pentagon said the incident occurred in international airspace.
Al-Arabiya television meanwhile reported that Trump met with Pentagon officials to “mull a response to the Iranian attack.”
“The U.S. decision to respond to the Iranian attacks will be taken within hours,” the TV network added.
The incident comes at a time of growing antagonism between Iran and the United States following two waves of still unexplained attacks on Gulf shipping, which Washington has blamed on Tehran.
Iran has denied any involvement and hinted the U.S. might have orchestrated them itself to provide a pretext for the use of force against the Islamic republic.
The head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard said the downing of the drone was "a clear message" his country will defend its borders.
Trump has repeatedly said he does not favor war with Iran unless it is to stop the country getting a nuclear weapon -- something Iranian leaders insist they are not pursuing.
Critics of the Trump administration say that his policy of "maximum pressure" -- including crippling economic sanctions, abandonment of a complex international deal to regulate Iran's nuclear activities, and deployment of extra sea, air and land forces to the region -- make war ever more likely.