US accuses Iran of conducting missile tests near warships

US accuses Iran of launching missiles near US aircrafts used in fight against DAESH, calling it “unsafe” action

Photo by: AP
Photo by: AP

A general view shows the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman at an undisclosed position in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily, Monday June 14, 2010.

Updated Jan 16, 2016

The US military said on Wednesday that Iranian naval vessels conducted rocket tests on December 26 while passing through the Strait of Hormuz close to US warships.

The Strait of Hormuz, located between the coasts of Iran and Oman, which has vital importance to oil trade by sea, is crucial for ships taking part in the war against the DAESH terrorist group in Syria and Iraq.

A statement released by the US Central Command spokesman Cmdr. Kyle Raines said that Iranian Revolutionary guard naval vessels fired “several unguided rockets” about 1,500 yards (1,37 km) from the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, the USS Bulkeley destroyer and a French frigate, the FS Provence.

"These actions were highly provocative, unsafe and unprofessional and call into question Iran's commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce," said Commander Kyle Raines.

“While most interactions between Iranian forces and the US Navy are professional, safe, and routine, this event was not and runs contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons.”

Commander Raines also stressed that commercial sea traffic was nearby who said they have been announced by Iranian vessels over maritime radio that they would carry out a live fire exercise "only 23 minutes of advance notification."

The commander stressed that Iranian actions were “highly provocative.”

"Firing weapons so close to passing coalition ships and commercial traffic within an internationally recognized maritime traffic lane is unsafe, unprofessional and inconsistent with international maritime law," he said.

Iran has on several occasions threatened to block the strait to passing ships in the past, putting pressure on its neighbour Oman.

The US has complained several times about Iran’s war games and maneuvers, which comes after many weapons tests after a nuclear deal that was signed in July in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran.

TRTWorld and agencies