An Iranian naval vessel fired several rockets close to an American aircraft carrier and destroyer and a French frigate in the Strait of Hormuz, the United States Navy confirmed on Wednesday, calling the action “highly provocative.”
The rockets came within 1,500 yards of the aircraft carrier’s right-hand side, but they were not fired in the direction of military and commercial vessels, Cmdr. Kevin Stephens, a spokesman for the United States Fifth Fleet, said in a statement.
“Firing weapons so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law,” Commander Stephens said.
The military action, which occurred on Saturday, was first reported by NBC News on Tuesday.
The rockets came close to commercial traffic and three vessels — the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, the destroyer Bulkeley and the French frigate Provence — that are part of a military coalition fighting the Islamic State, Commander Stephens said.
Iranian officials declined to comment publicly, but the semiofficial Tabnak news agency quoted an unnamed official as saying that the rockets had been fired to warn the Truman away from “a forbidden zone” in the Persian Gulf in keeping with “normal procedure.”
Tabnak said that Western news reports about the episode were an attempt to “undermine Iran’s capability to provide regional marine safety.”
The Strait of Hormuz is one of the world’s most strategically important passageways, in particular for the global oil supply chain, connecting the Persian Gulf to the open sea.
To protect its considerable interests there, the United States deployed warships to the area to defend American vessels in April after Iran seized a cargo ship owned by the Danish company Maersk that was traversing the strait.
The two countries quickly backed away from a possible military confrontation, which occurred amid the delicate negotiations over thenuclear accord that was reached in July between Iran and six major world powers, including the United States and the European Union.
In recent weeks, however, tensions between the United States and Iran have risen. Congress recently adopted restrictions barring foreigners who have visited Iran from entering the United States under a visa-waiver program; lawmakers said the steps were a response to terrorism, but Iranian leaders, eager to expand commercial links after years of sanctions, criticized the move.
Read more: NY Times
- Child Sex Slave Escapes Captor, But Now She is the One in Jail
- Colin Kaepernick Has Something Else He Hates About America, This Thanksgiving Holiday [WATCH]
- Police Investigate Woman Who Defended Herself With Gun, Because Perpetrator is Now…
- NO LOVE FOR TRUMP: Glenn Beck Calls Trump’s Wife a Lesbian Porn Star in Facebook Rant
- Illegal Alien and MS-13 Gang Member Cuts Man’s Head and Heart Off Inside ‘Sanctuary’ County
- WATCH: Gang of Thugs Prove Why Every Single Woman Needs a Gun at Home
- WATCH: Sarah Palin Says She’s Never Been Sexually Harassed Because Everyone Knows She Has a…
- Self-Defense When Bugging Out: 7 Tips to Keep In Mind
- Hey Ladies: Here is a List of Compact 9mm Concealed Carry Guns that Cost Less Than $600
- Father With a Gun: Daughter Saved by Her Dad After Gang Tries to…
- Kathy Griffin Attacks Trump Again in Bizarre Video [WATCH]
- Watch: Jujutsu Demonstration Shows Chicks Can Kick @SS
- Watch: When Americans ‘Steal’ Illegal Immigrants’ Job
- Texas Shooting: Two Heroes Who Chased Down Shooter Reveal What Happened
- Charlie Rose Canned for Sexual Harassment by CBS
- BOOM: Cook Shoots Armed Robber, Protecting Over 20 People
- Watch: Al Sharpton’s Epic Fails When Reading Teleprompter Will Have You Rolling With Laughter, ‘The Thigh (Thai) Militarty’