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Saturday, August 27, 2016

White House: Iran's actions in the Gulf a cause for concern

Actions by Iranian vessels in several encounters with U.S. warships in the Gulf this week are cause for concern and increase risks of miscalculation, the White House said on Friday, according toReuters.

On Thursday, it was revealed that a U.S. Navy coastal patrol ship fired three warning shots at an Iranian ship that sailed within 200 yards in the Northern Persian Gulf.

That incident was one of four close calls this week involving U.S. and Iranian vessels.
The intentions of the Iranian vessels in the incidents is not clear, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a news briefing, but the behavior is unacceptable and "in a compressed space like the Strait of Hormuz it increases the risk associated with possible miscalculations."
This week’s incidents are not the first time that Americans and Iranians have clashed in the Persian Gulf.

In January, Washington said Iran launched rockets near an American aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. While Iran initially denied doing so, footage was later released that proved it had indeed fired on the American carrier.

Later that month, Iranian media claimed the country flew a surveillance drone over an American aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf and took "precise" photographs of it as part of an ongoing naval drill.

In January, Iran infamously briefly detained 10 U.S. Navy sailors who mistakenly steered into Iranian waters.