Iran tells US Navy ship to stay clear of exercise area

Iranian Navy was conducting a naval exercise in the country’s southeastern waters when it warned a U.S. Navy vessel and a fighter jet to move away from the area in which the exercise was being conducted, media reports say.

Iranian news site Press TV reported that the U.S. Navy confirmed that it left the drill zone in the Persian Gulf after receiving warnings. According to the same site, the Velayat 94 entered into the main operational phase and featured the Iranian domestically-built Tareq submarine in addition to other surface vessels.

Tasnim News Agency, Iranian semi-official news agency stated the naval exercise, code-named “Velayat 94”, covered an area of around 3 million square kilometers, down to the 10-degrees latitude, north of the Indian Ocean.

CNN quoted the U.S. Navy Cmdr Kevin Stephens as saying: “Iran has announced closure areas for live fire events associated with its exercise. This is a common practice for any navy conducting such training at sea.”

The latest “incident” occurred some two weeks after another U.S.-Iran confrontation in which the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps detained ten U.S. Navy soldiers after they had wandered into Iranian waters.

Covering the January 12 incident, Iranian semi-official agency Fars News reported that Iranian authorities were in possession of U.S. Navy GPS equipment which would prove that the intrusion had an espionage aspect to it.

In yet another incident that happened less than a month ago, Iranian rockets, fired during a live-fire exercise, flew dangerously near the U.S. Navy aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman.

At that time, it was noted that the attack was not aimed at the aircraft carrier or other vessels but the action was described as “unnecessarily provocative and unsafe.”

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