Last month, one of Iran’s warships trained its weaponry system on a United States Navy helicopter while in the Arabian Sea, as commented by a Navy spokesman on Wednesday. The case in question serves as the latest in a series of moves by the Islamic Republic in recent months.
On July 25th, the Iran-flagged frigate aimed manned weapons at a United States helicopter carrying out landing exercises on a coalition ship that was being accompanied by the USS Farragut in the Gulf of Aden, as commented by Lt. Timothy Hawkins in his role of Navy spokesperson. The Gulf of Aden is situated in the Arabian Sea between Somalia and Yemen.
“We regarded the interaction as being unsafe and rather unprofessional,” Hawkins added.
USS Farragut: Wikimedia Commons
The weapons were not pointed at the USS Farragut but they were aiming at the MH60 Romeo Seahawk helicopter that was present at the location, as well as at a coalition auxiliary vessel working alongside the USS Farragut. Navy ships are approached on a routine basis by Iran-flagged Navy ships in the Gulf of Aden but in most cases that occurs from a safe distance.
Hawkins commented that the USS Farragut observed the incident and it seemed like the Iranians were actually videotaping the whole situation.
According to U.S. officials, it remains unclear what were the reasons behind the Iranians videotaping the incident and if they were to use the video for potential propaganda purposes. The Navy was unable to tell if a formal protest was initiated by the United States to the Iranians.
The incident serves as the latest entry in a series of aggressive acts by Iran in the last several months. Back in April, Iran was responsible for seizing a Marshall Islands-flagged ship in the Strait of Hormuz in regard to a legal dispute, which later on led to the necessity of having British and U.S.-flagged cargo carriers being escorted by the Navy in the strait.
Again in April, the United States Navy trailed an Iranian convoy with weaponry on the decks.
Later on in May, Iran’s forces chased a cargo carrier departing from Bahrain into the waters of the United Arab Emirates after firing at the vessel.