Iran carried out a test launch of a high-speed torpedo in the Strait of Hormuz on Sunday, U.S. media reported on Monday. The latest test took place in February 2015. The torpedoes cannot be guided, but if aimed straight at a ship they are difficult to avoid. Last week, Iran attempted a submarine-launched cruise missile test in the Strait of Hormuz. U.S. officials stated that the test failed.
The U.S. and Iran routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf and the nearby Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes. Iran views the American presence as a provocation and its paramilitary Revolutionary Guard shadows U.S. Navy ships in the Gulf, occasionally firing missiles or rockets nearby.
Since the nuclear deal with world powers, the hardline Revolutionary Guard has stepped up its encounters with the Americans. The navy recorded 35 instances of what it describes as "unsafe and/or unprofessional" interactions with Iranian forces in 2016, compared to 23 in 2015. With Monday's event, there have been seven so far in 2017, McConnaughey said.
Of the incidents last year, the most severe involved Iranian forces capturing 10 U.S. sailors who had mistakenly steered their boats into Iranian waters and holding them overnight.
Iran, which has been accused of exposing sectarian fault lines in the region, especially in Yemen, Syria and Iraq, tried to soften its rhetoric as Rouhani said there should be greater unity between Shiites and Sunnis and that they had coexisted side by side peacefully for hundreds of years. The main motivation behind the visit seems to be Trump's policies and his eagerness to better relations with Saudi Arabia, which was abandoned in the era of former U.S. President Barack Obama. During the Obama era, Iran enjoyed the opportunity to fill the vacuum in the Middle East after the White House abandoned its traditional allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Referring to Iran as "the number one terrorist state," the U.S. president said the Middle Eastern country supplies money and weapons to terrorist groups. The Trump administration hit the ground running, re-imposing sanctions against Iran in its first weeks in office, and also instating restrictions against those who are complicit with Tehran.
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