USS Thunderbolt Fires Warning Shots to Stop Approaching Iranian Vessel

The USS Thunderbolt is a 55-meter (179-foot) Cyclone-class patrol ship armed with two 25mm Mk-38 machine guns, two.50 caliber machine guns and two automatic grenade launchers.

The U.S. Navy fired warning shots over an Iranian ship on Tuesday in the northern Persian Gulf, according to a report from Defense Department officials supplied to ABC.

Iran unveiled its latest air defence missiles on Saturday.

Similar incidents between the United States and Iran occurred in the past. The U.S. Navy again has accused Iranian patrol boats of harassing an American warship in the Persian Gulf, this time with one Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel stopping right in front of the USS Firebolt and almost causing a collision.

The Navy characterized the Iranian boat's actions as not following internationally recognized "rules of the road ... creating a risk for collision".

The U.S. official said it was "out of the norm" for an Iranian military ship to "come in that close at that rate of speed". The U.S. Navy also alleged that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps acted provocatively in April while it approached the USS Mahan, an American destroyer, in the Persian Gulf.

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Of the incidents at sea previous year, the worst involved Iranian forces capturing 10 USA sailors and holding them overnight.

The USS Thunderbird fired "a couple of warning shots" at the Iranian vessel after it came within 140 meters of the USA ship at a high rate of speed, according to the official.

Officials characterized the actions of the Iranian boat as "unsafe and unprofessional", and not in accordance with global norms for interaction at sea.

During the presidential campaign last September, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessels that harass the USA navy in the Gulf would be "shot out of the water".

The boats had been on their way from Kuwait to Bahrain and experienced engine trouble, according to the U.S. Navy.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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