Officials says incident took place in Strait of Hormuz on Saturday and The behavior by our standards is provocative

A small Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard vessel pointed its weapon at a US military helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz at the weekend, two US defense officials have told Reuters, an action they described as unsafe and unprofessional.

The incident is the latest in a series of similar actions by Iranian vessels this year, but the first reported since Donald Trump won the US presidential election on 8 November.

During his campaign, Trump vowed that any Iranian vessel that harassed the US navy in the Gulf would be shot out of the water, if he was elected. Trump is due to take office on 20 January.

There was no immediate Iranian comment on the incident. Trumps transition team did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the incident took place on Saturday, when a navy MH-60 helicopter flew within half a mile (0.8km) of two Iranian vessels in international waters. One of the vessels pointed a weapon at the helicopter, the US officials said.

The behavior by our standards is provocative and could be seen as an escalation, the officials said. At no point did the crew of the helicopter feel threatened, they added.

It was not immediately clear what type of weapon was pointed at the US aircraft.

Years of mutual animosity eased when Washington lifted sanctions on Tehran in January after a deal to curb Irans nuclear ambitions. But serious differences remain over Irans ballistic missile program, and over conflicts in Syria and Iraq.

A number of similar incidents have taken place this year.

In September, a US navy coastal patrol ship changed course after an Iranian fast-attack craft came within 100 yards (91 meters) of it.

When they circle our beautiful destroyers with their little boats and they make gestures at our people that they shouldnt be allowed to make, they will be shot out of the water, Trump said at the time.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/28/iran-military-vessel-pointed-weapon-us-helicopter

Iran military vessel pointed weapon at US helicopter, Pentagon officials say
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