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Sunday, September 11, 2016

US military: Iranian behavior getting worse in Persian Gulf

Iran has stepped up its harassment of U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf, angering the U.S. military and members of Congress.  
Since the international nuclear deal with Iran was implemented in early January, the number of incidents involving U.S. and Iranian ships in the Gulf has approximately doubled. 
The Navy has counted at least 31 interactions with Iranian naval forces deemed “unsafe,” “unprofessional,” or both, according to a defense official.
That's about as many such interactions that occurred all of last year, according to statistics provided to Fox News.  
And those are also only counting interactions that have met the criteria of “unsafe” or “unprofessional.” 
Overall, there were more than 300 interactions between U.S. and Iranian forces last year. 
That figure includes incidents in which Iranian vessels waited for and followed U.S. ships transiting in the Persian Gulf, or sailed by with their weapons uncovered, in addition to other incidents of muscle flexing considered routine. 
Military officials say there is no question that the behavior is getting worse. 
“We've seen an uptick in confrontations by Iranian vessels in the Arabian Gulf,” Army Gen. Joseph Votel, the top U.S. commander in the region, said on Aug. 30. U.S. military officials refer to the Persian Gulf as the Arabian Gulf. READ MORE