US Navy fires warning flare at Iran vessel in Persian Gulf

Tensions between Iran and the US came to a head in January 2016, when 10 USA sailors were captured after Tehran accused them of drifting into Iranian waters.

The Iranian vessel approached the USS Mahan with its weapons manned, prompting the USA destroyer to alter its course, sound a danger alarm, fire flares, and man its weapons.

The Mahan, a guided missile destroyer, managed to dodge the Iranian ship and avoid a clash. The report also said the American crew fired flares and sounded sirens to warn off the Iranian crew.

Iranian corvette class vessel "Shahid Naqdi", sent by Tehran to the Mediterranean to help "train the Syrian navy", enters the Suez Canal early on February 21, 2012, on its way back to Iran.

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Four Iranian vessels approached the USS Mahan in January, prompting it to fire warning shots. The paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) finally turned away and sailed off after the warning shot was sacked, ABC News reports.

A third of all oil vessels pass through the strait of Hormuz, the narrow strategic link between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The Iranian Revolutionary Guards, a paramilitary force that answers directly to the Islamic republic's supreme leader, periodically approaches United States warships in global waters and the Strait of Hormuz, ignoring U.S. radio messages and giving little indication of its intentions.

Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said there had been 35 incidents of unsafe or unprofessional behavior by Iranian vessels in 2016, although the "vast majority" had occurred in the first half. With Monday's event, there have been seven so far in 2017, McConnaughey said. The worst hostile incident a year ago occurred when Iranian military forces took 10 American sailors and held them captive overnight.

  • Carlos Nash