United States navy makes "provocative move" in fresh encounter with Iran navy

There have been a string of close encounters between US ships and Iranian vessels in the Gulf in recent months

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.

The country's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said an American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier accompanied by a warship came near IRGC boats patrolling Iran's Resalat oil-and-gas field.

"Iranian vessels did not pay attention to the unprofessional and provocative acts and continued to guard in the zone after the U.S. vessels left", statement of Iran's military leadership said.

The Navy ship fired warning shots into the water over concerns of a collision, one of the officials said.

The American aircraft carrier and its accompanying warship left the area afterwards, it added.

In January, the USS Mahan fired shots toward Iranian fast-attack boats as they neared the destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz.


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

A US defense official told NBC News that three Iranian boats were involved and at least one of them had sped toward the USS Princeton, which was part of the Nimitz's carrier strike group.

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

In remarks in June 2016, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei underlined that security of the Persian Gulf region comes within the purview of the regional countries alone, and dismissed the U.S. claim of seeking security in the region.

USA military vessels have had approximately 60 unsafe interactions with Iranian ships in the Gulf since 2015, according to US military records. Democrats said the sanctions would not conflict with the nuclear deal.

On Saturday Iran's foreign ministry said the missile program is part of "domestic policy of the country, deterrent and at service of regional peace and security".

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