June 23rd 2019
Tensions have flared recently between the US and Iran following a dispute over the downing of a US drone. Tehran claims that the drone was in Iranian airspace, whilst Washington denies this and alleges that the unmanned craft was in international airspace over the Strait of Hormuz.
US President Donald Trump did not react well to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ shooting down of the craft, tweeting that Iran had made “a very big mistake” following the incident. He later seemed to scale back his initially pugnacious response, allowing for the possibility that someone on the Iranian side “may have made a mistake.”
Tehran was defiant in its response, defining its border as a “red line” and that they would “react strongly to any aggression” against Iran. Tehran has announced its intention to take the matter before the UN Security Council.
US officials maintain that the $130 drone — a sophisticated unmanned aircraft brimming with state-of-the-art surveillance electronics and roughly the size of an commercial airliner — was in international airspace and did not violate Iranian airspace at any time. The drone was surveilling the area as a result of recent attacks on commercial shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, which the US alleges Iran perpetrated.
The incident comes in the wake of renewed US sanctions against the Persian Gulf country and an Iranian vow to restart its uranium enrichment programme in response. Tensions remain high in the region, with Saudi Arabia siding with the US and condemning Iranian “aggression”.
In light of all this: what does this mean for Young Pioneer Tours’ trips to Iran, particularly for US citizens?
After having contacted our local partners, we have been assured that tours to the country can continue, and that all of our customers — whether US nationals or otherwise — will be perfectly safe in Iran. We will continue to monitor the situation for any change that might possibly affect our tours, but as of this time we are confident that the tensions between the two countries will not escalate to such a level that visitors to Iran need fear for their welfare.
Our next trip to Iran will take place in October of this year — go beyond the inflammatory headlines and find out the truth about this remarkable nation for yourself!