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Iran dismisses US claim of harassment in Strait of Hormuz

Iran dismisses US claim of harassment in Strait of Hormuz
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Iran's Revolutionary Guard knocked the U.S. over criticism of an encounter that occurred in the Strait of Hormuz between Iranian and U.S. military vessels.

The Guard in a statement on its official website blamed the U.S. for making "false and unrealistic allegations" about Iranian forces after Pentagon press secretary John Kirby accused Iranian speedboats of making unsafe maneuvers around U.S. ships.

"As in the past, the spokesman of the Ministry of Defense of this country, by fleeing forward and making false and unrealistic allegations about the incident, has tried to instill a sense of responsibility for taking care to prevent danger and miscalculation," the Guard said.

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"Americans must strictly abide by international regulations and the rules of navigation and bandit control in the strategic Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf by refraining from false narratives and unprofessional behavior," it added.

Kirby on Monday laid out accusations surrounding Iran's interception of U.S. vessels in the Strait of Hormuz. Iranian vessels, he said during a Pentagon press briefing, approached U.S. ships at an unsafe speed with weapons manned and uncovered and only backed off after two volleys of warning shots were fired.

“It’s certainly more [boats] than we’ve seen in recent past,” Kirby told reporters. “It’s significant and ... that it occurred in the Strait, an international chokepoint waterway, that too is significant. And they were acting very aggressively.”

The confrontation comes as the Biden administration is facing pressure from the president's own party to put aside Trump-era sanctions on Iran's top officials and rejoin the 2015 nuclear agreement signed under the Obama administration.

A group of top Democrats urged the White House to restore U.S. credibility on the issue this week by rolling back "bad-faith" sanctions put in place under the Trump administration targeting Iran, which Iran have said need to be ended before negotiations can resume.

“Lifting Trump’s bad-faith sanctions  which he explicitly imposed on Iran in order to make a return to the JCPOA next-to-impossible  should not be treated as a concession to Iran, but rather as an effort to restore U.S. credibility and enhance American security,” they wrote in a letter to President BidenJoe BidenObama: Ensuring democracy 'continues to work effectively' keeps me 'up at night' New Jersey landlords prohibited from asking potential tenants about criminal records Overnight Defense: Pentagon pulling some air defense assets from Middle East | Dems introduce resolution apologizing to LGBT community for discrimination | White House denies pausing military aid package to Ukraine MORE, using an acronym for the formal name of the Iran nuclear deal, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.