Iranian missile boat attempts to 'blind' US pilots with lethal laser as tensions escalate

In what appears to be a show of strength, the boat pointed a laser at a US Marine helicopter which was monitoring a series of US warships – two Navy warships and a cargo ship – leaving the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on Tuesday, a US defence official confirmed.

The Iranian boat reportedly came within less than mile of the American ships, before it fired a laser at the helicopter.

According to reports, the helicopter tried to deter the offensive boat by releasing a series of flares.

Condemning the interaction as “unsafe and unprofessional”, Commander Bill Urban said in a statement: “Illuminating helicopters with lasers at night is dangerous as it creates a navigational hazard that can impair vision and can be disorienting to pilots using night vision goggles.”

The news follows reports of President Trump’s deteriorating diplomatic relations with Iran.

Earlier this week the US defence was forced to shoot down an Iranian drone in Syria, which was trying to attack their forces.

But last week, Iran’s foreign minister Mohammad Had Zarif, strongly criticised the US for attempting to impose new sanctions on Iran.

Mr Zarif also accused President Trump of showing a lack of sympathy after the Islamic State struck terror in Tehran, Iran.

Responding to the attack, President Trump said: “We grieve and pray for the innocent victims of the terrorist attacks in Iran, and for the Iranian people, who are going through such challenging times. We underscore that states that sponsor terrorism risk falling victim to the evil they promote.”

In response, Mr Zarif tweeted: “Repugnant [White House] statement and Senate sanctions as Iranians counter terror backed by US clients. Iranian people reject such US claims of friendship.”

The terror attack in Tehran left 17 people dead and 45 injured after jihadi’s bombed the city’s parliament building and the landmark building which features the tomb of Iran’s first supreme leader Ayatollah Khomeini.

Iranian citizens were also angered by Mr Trump’s response to the terror attack.

Many of them shared photographs on Twitter which captured Iranian citizens holding candle-lit vigils in 2001, shortly after the 9/11 attack.

Daily Express :: World Feed

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