IRAN: U.S. FIRED WARN­ING SHOTS NEAR ITS VES­SELS

USA TODAY Weekend Extra - - NEWS -

Iran’s Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard said Sat­ur­day that a U.S. Navy air­craft car­rier fired a warn­ing shot in an “un­pro­fes­sional” con­fronta­tion with Ira­nian ves­sels, the of­fi­cial IRNA news agency re­ported.

IRNA quoted a state­ment from the Guard as say­ing the USS Nimitz and an ac­com­pa­ny­ing ship came near an Ira­nian oil off­shore plat­form in the Per­sian Gulf, and a he­li­copter from the ship hov­ered near Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guard ves­sels.

The Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet said one of its he­li­copters was on a rou­tine pa­trol in in­ter­na­tional airspace. The air­craft saw sev­eral Guard ves­sels ap­proach­ing Amer­i­can ships “at a high rate of speed” and sent out flares.

Af­ter com­mu­ni­ca­tions were es­tab­lished, the U.S. saw the Ira­ni­ans con­duct a “gun ex­er­cise,” with the Ira­ni­ans fir­ing weapons into the wa­ter away from Amer­i­can ships, said Navy spokesman Lt. Ian M. McCon­naughey.

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