Iran says new tensions between
Revolutionary Guards and U.S. Navy
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[July 29, 2017]
BEIRUT (Reuters) - The Iranian
Revolutionary Guards said on Saturday that U.S. Navy ships came close to
their vessels in the Gulf and shot flares.
The USS Nimitz and an accompanying battleship drew close to a
rocket-bearing Iranian vessel on Friday and sent out a helicopter near a
number of Guards vessels close to the Resalat oil and gas platform, the
Guards said in a statement published by their official news site Sepah
"The Americans made a provocative and unprofessional move by issuing a
warning and shooting flares at vessels...” the statement said. “Islam’s
warriors, without paying attention to this unconventional and unusual
behavior from the American vessels, continued their mission in the area
and the aircraft carrier and accompanying battleship left the area."
There was no immediate official comment from Washington on the
Revolutionary Guards' statement.
Last Tuesday, a U.S. Navy ship fired warning shots when an Iranian
vessel in the Gulf came within 150 yards (137 meters) in the first such
incident since President Donald Trump took office in January, U.S.
In a statement, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said the patrol craft,
named Thunderbolt, fired the warning shots in front of the Iranian
vessel after it ignored radio calls, flares and the ship's whistle.
The vessel belonged to the Revolutionary Guards, the statement said,
adding that it stopped its unsafe approach after the warning shots were
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Sailors man the rails as aircraft carrier USS Nimitz with Carrier
Strike Group 11, and some 7,500 sailors and airmen depart for a 6
month deployment in the Western Pacific from San Diego, California,
U.S., June 5, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Blake
A U.S. official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the
Iranian boat was armed but that the weapons were unmanned. The
Thunderbolt was accompanied by a number of other vessels, including
those from the U.S. Coast Guard.
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. But serious differences remain over Iran's ballistic
missile program and conflicts in Syria and Iraq.
The Trump administration, which has taken a hard line on Iran,
recently declared that Iran was complying with its nuclear agreement
with world powers, but warned that Tehran was not following the
spirit of the accord and that Washington would look for ways to
During the presidential campaign last September, Trump vowed that
any Iranian vessels that harass the U.S. Navy in the Gulf would be
"shot out of the water".
(Reporting By Babak Dehghanpisheh; Editing by Stephen Powell)
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