17:08 GMT22 February 2020
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    Commander of Iran's First Naval Zone Admiral Hossein Azad denied accusations of directing a laser beam at a US Marine Corps helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz in June, according to local media.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Iranian navy command on has denied accusations of directing a laser beam at a US Marine Corps helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz in June, local media reported Sunday.

    Last month, media reported, citing US military officials, that an Iranian Navy vessel had shone a laser at the US helicopter, which was witnessed by three US vessels, as well as scanning two of the vessels with its spotlight. US officials called the alleged Iranian actions “unsafe and unprofessional.”

    The reports were categorically denied by Commander of Iran's First Naval Zone Admiral Hossein Azad, the Tasnim news agency reported.

    Iranian-US relations have been strained for decades since the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and resulted in multiple incidents in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. One of the most well-known incidents occurred on July 3, 1988, when the US guided missile cruiser USS Vincennes downed an Iranian passenger jet heading for Dubai, leaving 290 people dead.


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