U.S. military officials say that Iran test fired missiles on Saturday that passed within 1,500 meters of an American aircraft carrier, the USS Harry S. Truman, which was passing through international shipping lanes in the Strait of Hormuz at the time of the incident, Reuters reports.
In addition to the USS Harry S. Truman, there were several other vessels that where in the area, including the destroyer USS Buckley, a French frigate, and merchant ships.
The officials, who spoke to Western media under condition of anonymity, called the Iran’s actions “highly provocative.”
They said that Iran issued a warning over maritime radio shortly before conducting the missile test asking vessels to remain clear.
None of the missiles were fired directly at any of the ships and they did not need to take any evasive actions.
Yet, while Iranians were “clearly not” trying to target the U.S. ship, the officials called the drill “unnecessarily provocative and unsafe.”
A spokesman for U.S. Central Command, Navy Commander Kyle Raines, confirmed that a number of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard vessels launched rockets “in close proximity” to the warships and other merchant traffic “after providing only 23 minutes of advance notification,” Reuters reported.
“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 added. “While most interactions between Iranian forces and the U. Navy are professional, safe, and routine, this event was not and runs contrary to efforts to ensure freedom of navigation and maritime safety in the global commons.”