USA defends its provocation against Iran in Persian Gulf

USA defends its provocation against Iran in Persian Gulf

USA defends its provocation against Iran in Persian Gulf

Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that the US Navy had approached their patrol vessels in the Gulf and fired flares in what it called a provocative move.

The US Navy ships were intercepted by IRGC missile boats near the Resalat gas-oil field, when they approached the Iranians and dispatched a helicopter at 4pm on Friday, according to the statement.

A US Navy ship has fired flares at an Iranian patrol boat in the Persian Gulf on the day Tehran condemned new sanctions on its missile programme.

The Iranian Navy said the USA ship "fired two warning shots into the air with the aim of provocation and intimidation". In this case, the aircraft carrier Nimitz was the lead ship. On Tuesday, the USS Thunderbolt fired several warning shots from a heavy machine gun in response to an Iranian vessel's "provocative actions", according to Pentagon officials.

But the Iran state-sponsored IRNA news agency claimed that the USA ships acted as the provocateur as they came close to an Iranian oil offshore platform.

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The officials said the Iranian boat is believed to have been operated by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. They have accused the US Navy of unprofessional behaviour, especially in the Strait of Hormuz, the mouth of the Persian Gulf through which a third of all oil trade passes by sea.

No warning shots were fired during that encounter, but USA defense officials criticized the use of the Iranian laser.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said Saturday that the interaction was "safe and professional".

In a joint statement, they said that Iran's launch was "inconsistent" with a UN Security Council resolution that enshrined the nuclear deal.

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