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Pause in Naval Tensions in Persian Gulf

Pause in Naval Tensions in Persian GulfPause in Naval Tensions in Persian Gulf

The US Navy claimed on Thursday the Iranian military’s behavior in the Persian Gulf has changed “across the board” in recent months, after years of tensions in the busy waterway.

Commander Bill Urban, spokesman for the US Navy’s Bahrain-based Fifth Fleet, said there had been no “unsafe or unprofessional” interactions with the Iranians at sea since August 14, 2017 when an Iranian drone with no lights on allegedly flew close to US aircraft operating in the Persian Gulf.

It “is a substantial period time since then, and something that we think is great,” Urban told reporters, according to AFP.

Last year and in 2016, the US Navy complained repeatedly about the behavior of Iranian vessels, which it claimed would often shadow and steer toward US ships.

In an incident, US sailors reportedly fired flares and warning shots before the Iranians turned away.

Urban said since then, the Iranians have stopped approaching so closely.

“We have seen an across-the-board change in behavior.”

“I don’t necessarily have a reason for that but it’s pretty clear that it’s something they are consciously doing.”

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