Iranian and US Ships Come Dangerously Close as Disputes Continue in Persian Gulf

Iranian and US Ships Come Dangerously Close as Disputes Continue in Persian Gulf

Iranian navy vessels came within 10 yards of American warships in the Persian Gulf in what the US navy described as a series of “dangerous and harassing approaches”. The close encounters on Wednesday and the aggressive tactics pursued by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) navy, visible from photos and video released by the US Fifth Fleet, represent a blow to the Trump administration’s claims to have “restored deterrence” in its relations with Iran. Coming on the same day that the US navy said that a Russian warplane performed an “unsafe” intercept of one of its surveillance planes over the Mediterranean, the incidents also served as a reminder that the coronavirus pandemic has not ended dangerous military rivalries around the world. According to the US Naval Forces Central Command, 11 small Iranian boats circled six US warships. The Iranian sailors only responded to bridge-to-bridge radio contacts after an hour of manoeuvring, and then moved away.

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