Iranian troops fire rockets near US warships

WASHINGTON • Iranian Revolutionary Guards launched rockets near the United States aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman and other warships as they were entering the Persian Gulf last Saturday, giving only brief notice in a "highly provocative" act, a US military spokesman said.

NBC News, citing unnamed US military officials, said the Revolutionary Guards were conducting a live-fire exercise and the Truman came within about 1,500m of a rocket.

"The rockets were not fired at the Truman and other ships, only near them," the network said.

Several Revolutionary Guard vessels fired the rockets "in close proximity" of the warships and nearby merchant traffic "after providing only 23 minutes of advance notification", said Navy Commander Kyle Raines, spokesman for the US Central Command, on Tuesday.

"These actions were highly provocative, unsafe and unprofessional, and call into question Iran's commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce," Mr Raines said in an e-mail.

The Truman, accompanied by two warships from the US-led coalition supporting air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Iraq and Syria, was entering the Gulf through the Hormuz Strait on a routine transit when the incident occurred, he said.

Teheran and six world powers, including the United States, agreed in a deal in July to curb Iran's nuclear programme in return for lifting economic sanctions.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Iranian troops fire rockets near US warships'. Print Edition | Subscribe