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Iran’s IRGC Says U.S. Navy Fired Flares Near Its Vessels

Iran -- Revolutionary Guards drive speedboats in front of an oil tanker during a ceremony to commemorate the 24th anniversary of the downing of Iran Air flight 655 by the US navy, at the port of Bandar Abbas, 02Jul2012

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) says a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier approached its patrol vessels and fired flares in what the IRGC called a “provocative” move.

The IRGC said the encounter took place on July 28 and that the U.S. Navy ships left the area afterward.

“The supercarrier USS Nimitz and its accompanying warship, while being monitored by the Guards' frigates, flew a helicopter near the Resalat oil and gas platform and approached the force's ships," the IRGC said in a July 29 statement issued by Iranian news agencies.

There was no immediate reaction from the United States.

Last week, a U.S. Navy patrol ship fired warning shots at an IRGC boat in the northern part of the Persian Gulf as it closed in on the American vessel, the U.S. military said.

U.S. Central Command said the USS Thunderbolt fired the warning shots on July 25 after attempts to communicate by radio were ignored by the Iranian vessel.

It said the IRGC ship conducted "an unsafe and unprofessional interaction" in international waters and that it also ignored warning sirens and flares fired from the USS Thunderbolt.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and IRNA