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White House Explains Why US Destroyer Fired Warning Shots at Iranian Vessels

Sputnik News

21:19 09.01.2017(updated 22:23 09.01.2017)

The four Iranian fast boats in the Strait of Hormuz closing in on US warships engaged in unsafe practices that can worsen existing tensions, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said in a briefing on Monday.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – Earlier in the day, media reported that the US Navy destroyer Mahan fired warning shots at four Iranian boats in the Strait of Hormuz that were closing in on it at a rapid pace. The ship warned the Iranian Revolutionary Guard boats to stop before firing warning flares and a smoke float on Sunday.

"The United States does not know what the intentions of the Iranian vessel were, but the behavior is not acceptable," Earnest stated. "These types of actions are certainly concerning and, certainly, risk escalating tensions when it is our view that we should look for ways to deescalate tensions."

The incident is the latest of several confrontations between US and Iranian vessels around the Persian Gulf.

In August, two Iranian naval patrol boats approached within 300 yards of the US destroyer Nitze while transiting the Strait of Hormuz, an incident the US Central Command deemed unsafe and unprofessional.

In November, US media reported that an Iranian vessel aimed weapons at a US Navy helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz.


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