'Acting aggressively': US ship fires 30 warning shots

·2-min read

A US Coast Guard ship fired about 30 warning shots after 13 vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) swarmed it and other American Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, the Pentagon said on Monday (local time).

This is the second time within the last month that US military vessels have had to fire warning shots because of what they said was unsafe behaviour by Iranian vessels in the region, after a relative lull in such interactions over the past year.

Iranian warships are seen during a joint naval exercise with Russian navy in the Indian Ocean in February. Source: Reuters
Iranian warships are seen during a joint naval exercise with Russian navy in the Indian Ocean in February. Source: Reuters

Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said the warning shots were fired after the Iranian fast boats came as close as 137 metres of six US military vessels, including the USS Monterey, that were escorting the guided-missile submarine Georgia.

The US Coast Guard cutter Maui fired the warning shots from a .50-caliber machine gun before the Iranian vessels left, Kirby said.

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“It’s significant... and they were acting very aggressively,” he said, adding that the number of Iranian vessels was more than in the recent past.

In April, a US military ship fired warning shots after three vessels from IRGCN came close to it and another American patrol boat in the Gulf.

The latest incident comes as world powers and Iran seek to speed up efforts to bring Washington and Tehran back into compliance with the 2015 nuclear accord.

US officials returned to Vienna last week for a fourth round of indirect talks with Iran on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former US President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Iran to begin violating its terms about a year later.

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