US Planes, Destroyer Warned Off

US Planes, Destroyer Warned OffUS Planes, Destroyer Warned Off

Two American airplanes and a destroyer intending to violate maritime laws by not keeping the required distance from an Iranian fleet operating in the Gulf of Aden were forced to change direction after receiving a warning.

The Iranian destroyer Alborz 72 warned off two US P-3C Orion maritime surveillance planes and the USS Winston S. Churchill (DDG-81) destroyer to remain out of the standard five-mile distance of the Iranian navy's 34th fleet, ISNA reported on Tuesday.

"We are duty-bound to monitor foreign warships in international waters to protect national interests against any threat," the commander of the fleet, Captain Mostafa Tajeddini, said.

The fleet has managed to repel attacks on two Iranian tankers and a foreign commercial ship during its mission in international waters.

Last week the naval units of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) confiscated the Maersk Tigris in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a move the foreign ministry later defended as "legal" and in compliance with "international regulations and protocols," saying in a statement that the vessel had been impounded on the order of an Iranian court over the outstanding debt of Maersk Shipping Line, the Danish company operating the Maersk, to a domestic plaintiff.

Iran then announced that the ship will be released after the debt is settled.

After the rare shipping incident, US defense officials said that US navy ships will accompany US-flagged commercial vessels through the Strait of Hormuz "to make sure they are not interfered with by Iran," the BBC reported.