Iran: What Rockets? We Didn’t Test Fire Any Rockets Near A US Aircraft Carrier

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Jonah Bennett Contributor
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The Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps launched denials Thursday that it fired test rockets near a U.S. aircraft carrier and protested the upcoming sanctions, which the U.S. recently announced as a response to the apparent test-firing.

According to the U.S. military, IRGC naval forces fired numerous rockets Saturday, which hit just about a mile away from the USS Harry S. Truman in the Strait of Hormuz, AFP reports. The USS Bulkeley was also in the region, as was a French frigate.

The unguided rockets, even assuming they hit the Truman, would not be enough to sink the vessel, but a strike could have damaged it. Rather than rockets, the real danger to U.S. vessels in the region would be from sea mines, which are responsible for damaging or sinking the majority of U.S. vessels lost since World War II.

The firing came just 23 minutes after Iranian authorities gave naval traffic in the area notice, said Navy Commander Kyle Raines, spokesman for US Central Command, according to Reuters.

“These actions were highly provocative, unsafe and unprofessional and call into question Iran’s commitment to the security of a waterway vital to international commerce,” Raines said.

But General Ramezan Sharif, spokesman for the IRGC, said that the U.S. was blatantly lying about the incident and added, “Publishing such lies in the current situation is more a psychological operation.”

“The security and peace of the Gulf is of serious strategic importance to Iran. The Guards conduct exercises to increase our required preparedness at due times, based on our own schedule.”

In response to the incident, the U.S. Treasury Department is preparing to launch a new round of sanctions against firms and individuals in Iran, which would be the first wave since the U.S. and Iran signed off on the nuclear agreement on July 14. Based on the agreement, economic sections are set to be lifted in early 2016.

Supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said that new sanctions would constitute a violation of the agreement.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has since told his defense minister to quicken the pace on Iran’s ballistic-missile program, following the announcement of new sanctions against Iranian individuals.

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