Iranians: US Navy ship fired warning flares in Persian Gulf

Posted July 30, 2017

The US Nimitz-class aircraft carrier and another warship fired warning shots at Iranian vessels in the middle of the Persian Gulf on Friday, according to Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as cited by local media.

The USS Nimitz, accompanied by another USA ship, fired the shot Friday as a helicopter hovered over the Iranian ships near an Iranian offshore oil-drilling platform in the Persian Gulf, the report said.

A U.S. Navy ship Tuesday fired warning shots at an Iranian vessel that had come too close during a military exercise in the region, the U.S. Navy said.

The US warships were being monitored and tracked by the Zolfaqar flotilla's corvettes, the statement noted, saying the incident occurred only a few days after another American warship had fired shots into the air to warn an IRGC patrol vessel in the Persian Gulf.

Then American warships opened fire in what the IRGC described as "a provocative and unprofessional move".

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

Iran and the USA frequently have run-ins in the Persian Gulf, almost all involving the Revolutionary Guard, a separate force from Iran's military that answers only to the country's supreme leader.

U.S. Naval Forces Central Command said Saturday that the interaction was "safe and professional". The Iranian ships then started firing rounds into the water, away from the USA ships.

Also on Saturday, Iran's parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy held an urgent meeting with deputy foreign minister and senior negotiator Abbas Araghchi to review measures the country may apply in response to sanctions the US Senate approved on Friday and sent to Trump for signing.

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