The past two weeks have been dominated by an extraordinary amount of pressure due to the increased tensions within the US-Iran relationship, almost culminating in an attack against Iran by the US, which could be viewed, under international law, as an act of war.
On June 20, 2019, in the early morning hours, Iran shot a US-owned drone, the RQ-4A Global Hawk, just above the Strait of Hormuz, accusing the US of crossing a ‘red line,’ and conducting covert operations on Iranian land and sea. The United States Central Command, just a few hours after the attack, claimed that the drone was flying in international airspace and supported calls for military retaliation to be directed at Iranian radars and missile batteries, which was scheduled for the night of the same day. The attack was called off last minute by President Trump who stated, through a series of tweets, that the attack was ‘not proportionate’ to shooting down an unmanned drone and had the capacity to kill 150 people, at least. He followed up his decision by threatening increased sanctions on Iran, without elaborating further on the point.