The US is accusing Iran of "highly provocative" actions near the Persian Gulf—with live missiles. Officials say Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessels conducted a live fire exercise in the narrow Strait of Hormuz "in close proximity" to US ships over the weekend. As first reported by NBC News, Iranian officials notified nearby ships of the tests just 23 minutes in advance, then fired "several unguided rockets" 1,500 yards from the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier, the USS Bulkeley destroyer, and a French frigate taking part in the fight against the Islamic State, reports USA Today and Reuters.
The rockets also neared commercial ships that use the strait to move oil from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Kuwait. "While most interactions between Iranian forces and the US Navy are professional, safe, and routine, this event was not," says a US Central Command rep, though he notes the missiles weren't fired toward any ships. "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." A French official says that country's military doesn't view the event as threatening because the rockets weren't directed at the fleet.