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Iran continues proxy wars despite being mired in coronavirus crisis

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Since the coronavirus crisis hit Iran, killing so far a total of almost 78,000 cases and causing the deaths of about 4,870 deaths, Iran-backed groups in Iraq and Yemen continues to launch attacks, which means that Tehran still spends millions on militias rather than its people.

 

The latest of Iran's harassing acts were on Wednesday.

 

Eleven vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships in the Gulf, the U.S. military said on Wednesday, calling the moves "dangerous and provocative," Reuters reported.

While such interactions had occurred occasionally a few years ago, they had stopped, and this incident comes at a time of increased tensions between the two countries.

According to the statement, the Iranian vessels approached six U.S. military ships while they were conducting integration operations with Army helicopters in international waters.

At one point, the Iranian vessels came within 10 yards of the U.S. Coast Guard cutter Maui.

The U.S. ships issued several warnings through bridge-to-bridge radio, blasts from the ships' horns and long-range acoustic noise maker devices.

The Iranian ships left after about an hour, the statement added.

Iran’s News Agency (IRNA) issued a brief Farsi-language story on the U.S. military report, without any reaction from Iranian authorities.

"The IRGCN's dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision, (and) were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea," the U.S. military's statement said.


U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, asked in a Fox News interview whether he had discussed the incident with the Pentagon, said: "We've talked as a team. ... We're evaluating how best to respond and how best to communicate our displeasure with what ... took place."

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