Iran's Revolutionary Guards Accuse US Navy Ships of New 'Provocation' in Gulf

Jul 30, 2017, 00:58
Iran's Revolutionary Guards Accuse US Navy Ships of New 'Provocation' in Gulf

On Saturday, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) reported a second provocation by United States warships in the Persian Gulf waters less than a week after a similar incident.

Iran said the incident took place near one of its oil and gas fields in the Persian Gulf.

"The US warships in a provocative and unprofessional move began firing warning shots at the Iranian vessels, to which the IRGC Navy's ships paid no attention and continued with their mission".

The US warships later warned the IRGC forces and flew a helicopter, which approached the Iranian boats, the statement added.

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In a similar incident on Tuesday, the USS Thunderbolt fired warning shots at Iranian navy boats operating in the Persian Gulf.

In response, Navy spokesman Lieutenant Ian M. McConnaughey called the move "safe and professional".

The officials said the Iranian boat is believed to have been operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Years of mutual animosity had eased when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran last year as part of a deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

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The US legislation imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

The U.S. Navy said in its statement that its forces were conducting a routine patrol in worldwide airspace when a U.S. helicopter spotted several Iranian naval vessels "approaching U.S. Naval forces at a high rate of speed".

"It is a breach of the deal in articles 26, 28 and 29", said Araghchi.

On Friday, the United States, France, Germany and Britain - who brokered the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran along with China, Russia and the European Union - said they're raising concerns with the United Nations over Iran's Thursday launch of a satellite-carrying rocket into space.

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