Navy Will Continue Regular Missions in Persian Gulf

Iran’s Navy will continue its “regular missions” in the Persian Gulf, an Iranian military official said on Wednesday, a day after the US Navy issued a warning to mariners there to stay away from US warships.
“The naval units of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Persian Gulf and the Sea of Oman will continue their regular missions in accordance with professional principles as in the past,” the unnamed military official was quoted as saying by ISNA.
In an alert that appeared aimed at Iran, the US Navy issued a warning on Tuesday to mariners in the Persian Gulf to stay 100 meters clear of US warships or risk being “interpreted as a threat and subject to lawful defensive measures”.
The notice to mariners follows US President Donald Trump’s threat last month to fire on any Iranian ships that harass US Navy vessels.
"Armed vessels approaching within 100 meters of a US naval vessel may be interpreted as a threat," according to the text of the notice seen by Reuters.



No Change in Rules of Engagement 

A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the new notice to mariners was not a change in the US military’s rules of engagement.
The Pentagon has stated that Trump’s threat was meant to underscore the US Navy’s right to self-defense.
The Bahrain-based US Naval Forces Central Command said in a statement that its notice was “designed to enhance safety, minimize ambiguity and reduce the risk of miscalculation”.
It follows an incident last month in which Iranian naval vessels came close to an encounter with the US Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Persian Gulf, in what the US military claimed to be “dangerous and provocative” behavior.
At one point, the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards (9 meters) of the US Coast Guard cutter Maui, the US military claimed. 
Trump’s threat followed that incident which Tehran, in turn, said was the fault of the United States.
The head of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps responded to Trump by threatening to destroy US warships if its security is threatened in the Persian Gulf.
The back-and-forth is just the latest example of razor-sharp tension between Washington and Tehran, which has steadily escalated since 2018, when Trump withdrew from Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with six world powers and reimposed crippling sanctions.
Animosity reached historic heights in early January, when the United States assassinated top Iranian military commander, Qasem Soleimani, in a drone strike in Baghdad.
Iran retaliated on Jan. 9 by firing missiles at bases in Iraq, causing brain injuries among US troops at one of them.

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