MILITARY

US commander slams Iran for provocative moves in Gulf

  • U.S. Central Command Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, during a briefing to provide update on USCENTCOM operations. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    U.S. Central Command Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, during a briefing to provide update on USCENTCOM operations. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Central Command Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, during a briefing to provide update on USCENTCOM operations. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    U.S. Central Command Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, during a briefing to provide update on USCENTCOM operations. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

  • U.S. Central Command Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, during a briefing to provide update on USCENTCOM operations. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

    U.S. Central Command Command Commander, U.S. Army Gen. Joseph Votel, speaks to reporters at the Pentagon, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, during a briefing to provide update on USCENTCOM operations. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)  (The Associated Press)

The top commander of U.S. forces in the Middle East is criticizing Iran for what he calls provocative and unsafe maneuvers in the Persian Gulf.

Gen. Joseph Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, told reporters at the Pentagon on Tuesday that recent episodes involving Iranian naval patrol boats speeding toward U.S. Navy ships were unprofessional. He said they raised the risk of miscalculations that could lead to more dangerous results.

He said Iran is the only country in the Middle East that acts in such aggressive ways at sea.