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More Trouble at Sea: Iran Expels U.S. Ship, Jet Out of Strait of Hormuz

Iran warned a U.S. warship and jet to leave the area near the Strait of Hormuz where the Iranian navy took part in military exercises.

The exercises included submarines, destroyers, and missile launchers.

The warship and a fighter jet immediately left the area after they received the warning. CNN identified the ship as the USS Monterey.

Rear-Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, the commander of the fleet, told Iranian media the U.S. ship attempted “to collect information in the Sea of Oman.”

“It was predictable that the U.S. warship would approach the area to collect information on (our) military operations,” he claimed. “So we warned them twice in the morning… to keep their distance from the exercise area and keep clear of our missile range for their own safety.”

He also insisted the military followed international protocol by clearing the area before starting the exercises.

“The maneuver aims to show Iranian forces’ strength both in ensuring security on the seas and in defending the country’s sea borders in Hormuz Strait, Sea of Oman and north of the Indian Ocean,” he boasted.

The U.S. Navy echoed Sayyari’s comments.

“Iran has announced closure areas for live fire events associated with its exercise,” confirmed U.S. Navy Cmdr. Kevin Stephens. “This is a common practice for any navy conducting such training at sea. Our forces similarly announce closure areas for our training events. We do not consider such announcements to be ‘orders.’”

The incident comes two weeks after the Iranian military seized two Navy vessels in the Persian Gulf. They captured ten American soldiers, including one female.

Reports came out that the U.S. apologized to Iran, but Vice President Joe Biden assured the media no such action occurred.

“When you have a problem with the boat, (do) you apologize the boat had a problem? No,” he explained. “And there was no looking for any apology. This was just standard nautical practice.”

Secretary of State John Kerry issued a thank you to the Iranian regime for releasing the U.S. soldiers.

“I want to express my gratitude to Iranian authorities for their cooperation ‎in swiftly resolving this matter,” he said.

“That this issue was resolved peacefully and efficiently is a testament to the critical role diplomacy plays in keeping our country safe, secure, and strong.”

The Iranian website IRIB News published photos and video of the capture of the ship, in which American soldiers can be seen forced on their knees by IRGC aggressors.

The regime released the soldiers early Wednesday morning after they determined the soldiers did not mean to wade into Iranian waters though the Iranians have not yet issued any proof the American ships were in, or even near, Iranian territory. Admiral Ali Fadavi, the IRGC Navy Commander, claimed they received an apology from the U.S. while berating the U.S. for acting in an “unprofessional” manner and claiming the presence of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf “disturbed the security of the area.”

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