Iran’s belligerence continues as it threatens the US with whom it signed the Iran Nuclear Deal last year.
An Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) patrol boat on Saturday trained its weapons on a US Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter and threatened to shoot it down while it flew near the Strait of Hormuz, several media outlets reported Monday.
The Iranians did not carry through with their threat and did not fire on the aircraft. No one was harmed in the incident.
The helicopter was escorting the aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower on its way out of the Persian Gulf.
Reuters quoted two US defense officials who described the incident as “unsafe and unprofessional.”
“The behavior by our standards is provocative and could be seen as an escalation,” the officials said.
This is the latest incident in a growing list of Iranian provocations against US forces, mostly maritime, in the region.
The number of acts of belligerence by Iranian forces against US troops stationed in the area has more than doubled since the signing of the controversial nuclear deal a year ago.
A US defense official told CNN in August that the number of these unsafe incidents had already surpassed the entire amount for 2015.
Gen. Joseph Votel, the top commander of US forces in the Middle East, sharply criticized Iran for its naval provocations, saying they are worrying because they risk setting off a full-blown conflict.
What we see with the Iranians is not particularly responsible,” Votel stated in August. “It is provocative, in some cases; it’s unsafe. And it can lead to situations where we may not be able to de-escalate in a time before something happens.”
In September, Iran threatened to shoot down two US Navy aircraft flying in the Persian Gulf.
Earlier that month there were several dangerous encounters that US ships had with IRGC boats in the Gulf.
Last December, the Iranians fired rockets near a US warship and other vessels in the Strait of Hormuz, and a month later flew a drone over the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf.
In October, Houthi rebels in Yemen fired rockets several times at US Navy ships in the area. Votel stated he believes Iran was behind the incidents.
By: World Israel News Staff