Iranian drone harasses USS Nimitz in Persian Gulf, again

USS Nimitz transiting the Indian Ocean in July 2017. Photo: US Navy

An Iranian unmanned aerial vehicle flew dangerously close to a US Navy aircraft carrier sailing in the Persian Gulf in the second such event in the region in seven days.

According to the Washington Post, an Iranian drone flew past the USS Nimitz several times on Sunday coming as close as 1,000 feet to the aircraft carrier.

Attempts to establish radio communication were unsuccessful, it was further said.

The flights were deemed unprofessional by the US Navy whose spokesperson said the UAV “created a dangerous situation with the potential for collision, and was not in keeping with international maritime customs and laws.”

In a similar incident on August 8, an Iranian drone came forced a F/A-18E Super Hornet landing on the same aircraft carrier to alter course in order to avoid a collision.

The incident on Sunday marked the 14th unsafe and/or unprofessional interaction between U.S. and Iranian maritime forces in 2017, according to the US Southern Command.

Responding to the report, Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) denied flying a drone close to the US carrier adding it was carrying out air patrol missions in the area. In a statement reported by the Tasnim news agency, the IRGC said it operates in its air defense identification zone (ADIZ) daily and in accordance with regulations.

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