U.S. defends its provocation against Iran in Persian Gulf

Marcus Newton
July 30, 2017

The U.S. Navy said Saturday that a naval helicopter noticed a group of Islamic Revolutionary Guard ships heading toward the USS Nimitz's strike group "at a high rate of speed".

The incident comes after a US Navy patrol boat fired warning shots on Tuesday near an Iranian vessel that American sailors said came dangerously close to them during a tense encounter.

In a statement Saturday, the IRGC navy said the American ship was "unprofessional and provocative", CNN reported.

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

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

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"The Persian Gulf security relates to the countries of the region which have common interests, and not to the US".

Jafari's comments come a day after the U.S. departments of State and Treasury imposed sanctions against 18 entities and individuals tied to the Iranian military, IRGC and the country's ballistic missile program.

The articles in question say the USA administration, acting consistently with the respective roles of the president and Congress, will refrain from re-imposing sanctions or any policy specifically meant to directly and adversely affect the normalization of trade and economic relations with Iran.

The US legislation imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them. Democrats said the sanctions would not conflict with the nuclear deal.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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