Iran fires rockets close to US carrier
Iranian naval vessels approached to within 1,500 yards of the U.S. aircraft carrier USS Truman and fired several unguided rockets, according to sources at the Pentagon.
The official characterized the incident as "certainly unnecessarily provocative." We could add "deliberately so."
At around 10:36 a.m., several Iranian navy vessels approached the Truman, as well as other coalition and merchant vessels, the official said.
"They were observed quickly approaching their location as they transited the Strait of Hormuz into the Arabian Gulf," said the official.
At 10:45 a.m., Iran warned of a "previously unannounced live-fire exercise over maritime radio and requested for nearby vessels to remain clear," the official added.
Approximately 40 minutes later, the exercise warnings were repeated, and the ships started to launch the rockets, the official said.
It is unclear how many rockets were fired, the official said; however, they were fired in a direction away from the passing commercial and coalition ships. The ships departed after firing the rockets.
The Truman is the first U.S. aircraft carrier to enter the Gulf, after the USS Theodore Roosevelt left in October, leaving a U.S. carrier gap of several months. The U.S. has maintained a carrier presence in the Gulf for decades, even keeping two carriers there at the same time to support the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars.
When the Roosevelt left the Gulf in early October, Iran conducted a ballistic missile test.
The Truman carried out its first missions in the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Tuesday. The French aircraft carrier Charles De Gaulle is also in the Gulf in support of operations against ISIS.
Since the nuclear deal was agreed to, Iran has violated U.N. resolutions by testing a ballistic missile, carried out mock attacks on a U.S. carrier, and now launched rockets in close proximity to a U.S. warship.
But we have to ignore these gross provocations in order to implement the nuclear deal.
As our new bestest friends, the Iranians have a strange way of showing their reliability and good intentions. And the unspoken justification for giving the Iranians everything they want in the nuclear deal was that their behavior would "moderate" once they joined the community of nations. This was possible only in the fevered imaginations of people in our government who actually believe that the nuclear deal will prevent Iran from getting the bomb. The reality is that Iran is an enemy who has made it clear for 36 years it wishes to destroy us.
This latest provocation shows that those naive enough to think Iran will change are dangerously wrong.