An Iranian weapon positioned on a smell vessel was pointed at an American Navy helicopter on Saturday. The incident happened in international waters as the USS Eisenhower aircraft carrier was making its way along the Strait of Hormuz.
The incident in the Persian Gulf was described as being “unsafe and unprofessional,” the Hill reports. The USS Eisenhower reportedly spotted two Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels near the carrier and launched their SH-60 Seahawk helicopter to better identify the Iranian ship crafts.
USS Eisenhower has 66 jets & helicopters – compared to 2 helicopters on HMS Ocean, which will focus on maritime security, rather than ISIL pic.twitter.com/EWQKRWBA6S
— NavyLookout (@NavyLookout) November 26, 2016
When the SH-60 Seahawk helicopter was within about a half mile of the Iranian vessels, the Navy crew inside stated a weapon from one of the vessels was trained on it. The chopper quickly returned to the USS Eisenhower.
“The behavior by our standards is provocative and could be seen as an escalation,” U.S. Navy officials said, according to an International Business Times report.
The crew of the helicopter stated they did not feel threatened by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessels, according to Reuters. The incident was reportedly deemed unsafe because the situation between the two nations could have quickly or easily escalated.
This is not the first contentious incident sparked by an encounter with an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf. In August, four Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessels harassed a United States destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz. The Navy members on the destroyer fired flares into the air to warn the four Iranian vessels away.
— Chris Cavas (@CavasShips) November 28, 2016
Several days after the August incident, the United States Navy fired warning shots at an Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf after it reportedly ignored repeated warnings to terminate “unprofessional maneuvers.”
Approximately one-third of all the oil traded and transported by sea passes through the Strait of Hormuz. The Iranian military had been warned about its unacceptable behavior in the Persian Gulf earlier in the year.
This is the first time Iranian ships have engaged in any type of posturing incident with the United States Navy since Donald Trump won the presidential election. The president-elect has vowed to renegotiate the Iran nuclear deal during the early stages of his administration. Trump’s transition team has not yet commented on the recent turn-of-events in the Persian Gulf.
Marine General James Mattis is reportedly slated to become Donald Trump’s defense secretary. Mattis reportedly believes America should abide by the Iran deal even though he feels the nation is the “single most belligerent actor in the Middle East.” The general also reportedly feels Iran is an “enduring threat to stability and peace” in the region.
“I want to make clear there’s no going back. Absent a clear and present violation [by Iran], I don’t think we can take advantage of some new president—Republican or Democrat—and say, ‘well, we’re not going to live up to our word in this agreement.’ I believe we’d be alone if we did, and unilateral economic sanctions from us would not have anywhere near the impact of an allied approach to this,” Mattis said.
During his bid for the White House, Donald Trump called the Iran deal a “disaster.” Republican Representative Mike Pompeo has reportedly been tapped as Trump’s CIA head. The Kansas lawmaker tweeted about his eagerness to roll back the deal, which also includes the nations of Germany, France, China, Russia, and Great Britain.
What do you think about the actions of the Iranian ship in the Persian Gulf?
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