IRGC Commander Warns of 'Serious Consequences' of US Acts in Persian Gulf

IRGC Commander Warns of 'Serious Consequences' of US Acts in Persian Gulf”

The U.S. Navy said Saturday that a U.S. helicopter "deployed flares" as Iranian Naval vessels in the Persian Gulf approached at high speed in an incident the Iranians have described as "provocative and unprofessional".

The country's powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said an American Nimitz-class aircraft carrier accompanied by a warship came near IRGC boats patrolling Iran's Resalat oil-and-gas field. The Americans then left the area, the IRGC added, while the Iranians went on with their patrol.

On Tuesday, a US Navy ship fired warning shots at an armed Iranian patrol boat in the northern end of the Persian Gulf, according to two US defense officials.

"IRGC navy patrol boat continued its mission, ignoring the unprofessional and provocative move by the USA warship and the warship left the zone after a while", the IRGC said in a statement, IRNA reports.

Years of mutual animosity had eased when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran last year as part of a deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions.

USA military vessels have had approximately 60 unsafe interactions with Iranian ships in the Gulf since 2015, according to US military records. But serious differences remain over Iran's ballistic missile programme and conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

"The Iranian vessel's actions were not in accordance with the internationally recognized "rules of the road" nor internationally recognized maritime customs, creating a risk for collision", the Navy said.

Iran pledged to forge ahead with its missile program Saturday.

On Friday, the US, France, Germany and Britain, who brokered the deal with Iran along with China, Russia and the European Union, said they were raising concerns with the United Nations over Iran's launch on Thursday of a satellite-carrying rocket.

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