US, Iranian navies encounter again in Persian Gulf

How Trump can show Iran that America will not be intimidated

On Saturday, Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) reported a second provocation by U.S. warships in the Persian Gulf waters less than a week after a similar incident.

The U.S. Navy said Saturday that a naval helicopter noticed a group of Islamic Revolutionary Guard ships heading toward the USS Nimitz's strike group "at a high rate of speed".

The US warships were being monitored and tracked by the Zolfaqar flotilla's corvettes, the statement noted, saying the incident occurred only a few days after another American warship had fired shots into the air to warn an IRGC patrol vessel in the Persian Gulf.

The Iranian Navy said the U.S. ship "fired two warning shots into the air with the aim of provocation and intimidation".

The American aircraft carrier and its accompanying warship left the area afterwards, it added. They said that sending the chopper toward the Iranian ships was "unprofessional" and was ignored by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard.

Such incidents between the Revolutionary Guards and the US Navy are frequent.

An Iranian vessel steers close to the U.S. Navy coastal patrol craft USS Thunderbolt (R) in the Gulf in a still image from video provided by the U.S. Navy July 25, 2017.

USA military vessels have had approximately 60 unsafe interactions with Iranian ships in the Gulf since 2015, according to US military records.

Also Saturday, Iran's parliamentary committee on national security and foreign policy held an urgent meeting to review its response to a package of sanctions approved by the US Senate and sent to Donald Trump to be signed into law.

Araghchi told state TV the decision was a "hostile" breach of the nuclear deal.

Mr Araghchi said the new sanctions are "a breach of the deal in articles 26, 28 and 29".

The US legislation imposes mandatory penalties on people involved in Iran's ballistic missile program and anyone who does business with them.

On Friday, the US, France, Germany and Britain, who brokered the deal with Iran along with China, Russia and the European Union, said they were raising concerns with the United Nations over Iran's launch on Thursday of a satellite-carrying rocket.

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