DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – A U.S. warship fired warning shots as Iranian Revolutionary Guards ships came too close to a patrol in the Persian Gulf, the United States said on Wednesday.
The navy on Monday night released white shots in the international waters of the northern part of the Persian Gulf. There are lights in the distance, and what sounds like a shot is heard, the detective passing through the water on top of the water.
Iran did not immediately acknowledge what had happened.
The Navy said the USS Firebolt fired warning shots after the three high-speed assault boats were 68 yards (62 meters) away from it – the US Coast Guard patrol boat USCGC Baranoff.
“The US crew has issued numerous warnings through bridge-to-bridge radio and loudspeakers, but (guard) ships continue to exercise at close range,” Cmdr said. Rebecca Rebarich, spokeswoman for the 5th Fleet in the Middle East. “Firebolt crews then fired warning shots. The (Guards) ships were moved to a safe distance from US vessels.”
He called on the Guardian to “act in the safety of all ships in accordance with international law.”
“The US Navy remains vigilant, prepared to act professionally, while our commanding officers retain their inherent right to self-defense,” he said.
The incident marked Monday for the second time when the Navy accused the guards of working in a “safe and unprofessional” manner only this month after intense clashes in recent years.
Footage released by the Navy on Tuesday showed the ship under the command of a guard being cut off in front of the USCGC Monomoy, causing the Coast Guard to abruptly stop smoking the engine on April 2.
The Guard did the same with another Coast Guard vessel, the USCGC Wrangell, Rebarich said. Crossings in such vicinity endanger collisions.
The partnership marked the first “unsafe, unprofessional” incident involving Iranians since April 15, 2020. However, Iran generally stopped such incidents in 2018, almost throughout 2019.
In 2017, Russia reported 14 cases of “safe, unprofessional” cooperation with Iranian forces. In 2016, it registered 35, and in 2015 – 23.
Incidents at Sea almost always involve the Revolutionary Guards, which reports only to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They usually involve Iranian high-speed boats armed with deck-launchers, missile test weapons, or American aircraft carriers passing through the Strait of Hormuz, through the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf, through which 20% of all oil passes.
Some analysts believe the incidents were partly aimed at cracking down on President Hassan Rouhani’s administration following the 2015 nuclear deal. These include the case of 2016, when Iranian forces captured and detained 10 US sailors wandering the territorial waters of the Islamic Republic overnight.
The incident comes at a time when Iran is in Vienna negotiating with world powers over the return of the 2015 Tehran-Washington nuclear deal. It also follows a series of incidents in the Middle East in connection with the Iran-Israel inter-shadow war, which includes attacks on regional ships and sabotage of Iran’s Natanz nuclear plant.
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