US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday charged that Iran was violating a UN Security Council ban through a satellite launch and vowed repercussions.
"I think Iran needs to be held accountable for what they've done," Pompeo told reporters.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Wednesday it had put the Islamic Republic’s first military satellite into orbit, dramatically unveiling what experts described as a secret space program.
That launch raised concerns among experts about whether the technology could be used to help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles. Iran currently has short- and intermediate-range missiles.
US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he has instructed the United States Navy “to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats” if they harass American ships at sea.
Last week 11 vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came dangerously close to US ships in the Gulf, according to a statement from the US military.
“Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels conducted unsafe and unprofessional actions against U.S. Military ships by crossing the ships’ bows and sterns at close range while operating in international waters of the North Arabian Gulf,” read the statement for the US Fifth Fleet.
The US ships which were approached by the IRGC ships were identified as the USS Lewis B. Puller, USS Paul Hamilton, USS Firebolt, USS Sirocco, USCGC Wrangell and USCGC Maui.