US Fires Warning Shots at Iranian Ships in Rare Gulf Clash

A United States Navy patrol ship stationed in international waters in the Persian Gulf fired warning shots at Iranian naval vessels which came dangerously close to it, the US military said on Tuesday. The disturbing incident occurred on Monday evening, after three ships belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard ignored radio and other warnings and persisted in approaching two American vessels in a threatening manner, conducting “close range maneuvers” at under 70 yards away, the US Navy’s statement said. Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, noted on Tuesday that similar altercations have occurred in the past, adding that they typically are “not necessarily… directed by the Supreme Leader or from the Iranian state, rather irresponsible actions by local commanders on the scene.” Also on Tuesday, the US and Iran kicked off their third round of indirect negotiations in Vienna over a mutual return to compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal.

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