Iran re­futes US claims of ha­rass­ment

The Myanmar Times - - World -

A SE­NIOR Ira­nian mil­i­tary com­man­der dis­missed claims from Wash­ing­ton that US pa­trol ships have been ha­rassed by Ira­nian boats in the Per­sian Gulf, say­ing Tehran acted ac­cord­ing to in­ter­na­tional law.

“Ira­nian boats con­tinue to act based on de­fined stan­dards and are well aware of the in­ter­na­tional laws and reg­u­la­tions, so the claims are not only un­true, but stem from their fear of the power of Iran’s sol­diers,” said Bri­gadier Gen­eral Ma­soud Jaza­y­eri, deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces.

The Pen­tagon said seven Ira­nian Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard Corps fas­tat­tack boats ap­proached the USS Fire­bolt on Septem­ber 4 with their ma­chine guns un­cov­ered, though not trained on the Amer­i­cans.

It was at least the fifth in­ci­dent re­vealed by the Pen­tagon in the past month, with US mil­i­tary of­fi­cials re­peat­edly crit­i­cis­ing the Ira­nian mil­i­tary for its be­hav­iour in the Gulf.

But Mr Jaza­y­eri said the claims were ex­ag­ger­ated.

“When Ira­nian boats pass by them at a dis­tance of a few kilo­me­tres, Amer­i­cans claim that Ira­nian boats have ap­proached them within a range of 1 kilo­me­tre,” he said.

“Iran’s ma­rine corps will never be stopped by the pro­pa­ganda of ex­trare­gional en­e­mies and their ves­sels in the re­gion in guard­ing Iran’s sea bor­ders and eco­nomic in­ter­ests.”

US navy of­fi­cials say ships from the two coun­tries in­ter­acted more than 300 times in 2015 and more than 250 times in the first half of this year, and claims 10 per­cent of those en­coun­ters were un­safe and un­pro­fes­sional. –

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