Iran Denies ‘Harassing’ US Warships in Persian Gulf

Insists US Officials Exaggerate How Close Iranian Speedboats Got

by Jason Ditz, September 11, 2016

Iranian Brigadier General Masoud Jazayeri today denied US claims that Iran is systematically “harassing” American warships that are operating off Iran’s coast in the Persian Gulf, saying the US has repeatedly exaggerated how close Iranian speedboats actually were during putative incidents, and that Iran was always following international rules.

US officials have repeatedly accused Iran of “unprofessional and unsafe” conduct in the Gulf, with incidents in which Iranian speedboats got within several hundred meters of American warships. The Pentagon has claimed Iran’s behavior is getting worse in recent weeks.

“When Iranian vessels pass the Americans a few kilometers away from them, they claim that the Iranian boats have come within one kilometer,” Jazayeri noted. In many of the “incidents,” Iranian boats never left their own territorial waters, but just came within visual range of US warships.

Iranian officials have previously insisted that they will continue to react when foreign warships are deployed off their coast. The US has made parking a substantial number of warships along the coast a matter of policy for years now.

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