US, Iran trade blame over naval incident
TEHRAN (AFP) — Tehran and Washington Saturday accused each other’s naval forces of provocative maneuvers in the Gulf that culminated in a U.S. helicopter firing warning flares at Iranian vessels, the latest close encounter between the countries in recent months.
The U.S. Navy said it had reacted to unresponsive vessels belonging to the Revolutionary Guards closing in on American ships at high speed, a charge denied by Iran, which described the American move as unprovoked.
“At 4 p.m. (1130 GMT) on Friday, the supercarrier USS Nimitz and its accompanying warship, while being monitored by the Guards’ frigates, flew a helicopter near the Resalat oil and gas platform and approached the force’s ships,” the Guards said.
“The Americans in a provocative and unprofessional move, sent a warning message to the frigates and fired flares.”