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Iran Test-Fires Rockets Close To Western Warships In Gulf

December 30, 2015

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards fired rockets near three Western warships as they were entering the Persian Gulf in what a U.S. military spokesman on December 29 called a 'highly provocative' act.

The rockets were not fired at the warships, but Iranian vessels were conducting a test on December 26 and a U.S. aircraft carrier came within 1,500 yards of being hit by a rocket, U.S officials said.

The U.S. Truman aircraft carrier was given only 23 minutes' notice, said Navy Commander Kyle Raines, spokesman for the U.S. Central Command.

'These actions were highly provocative, unsafe, and unprofessional, and call into question Iran's commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce,' he said.

The Western warships were on a routine transit through the narrow Hormuz Strait at the mouth of the Gulf when the incident occurred, he said.

According to Reuters, NBC News said the U.S. destroyer Buckley and a French frigate were in the area where the rockets were fired.

'While most interactions between Iranian forces and the U.S. Navy are professional, safe, and routine, this event was not and runs contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons,' Raines said.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP

Source: http://www.rferl.org/content/iran-test-fires-rockets-nearly- hits-western-warhips-persian-gulf-hormuz-strait/27456694.html

Copyright (c) 2015. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.

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