A US Navy ship in the Strait of Hormuz was forced to change directions after it came within 600 yards of multiple Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels, a US official says.
The Iranian fleet forced the formation to change course on Saturday 4 March, reportReuters.
A Navy official called the Iranian actions "unsafe and unprofessional", The Washington Post reported. The prefix "USNS" means the ship belongs to the U.S. Navy but is unarmed or only lightly armed.
The Pentagon has previously voiced concern over a string of high-profile incidents in waters off Iran, where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) frequently conducts risky maneuvers around US vessels, including some where the Americans have had to fire warning shots. She began her life as a sub-hunting ship, but she was refitted in 2000 with the Air Force's Cobra Gemini dual-band radar for tracking theater ballistic missiles.
The IRGC did not comment on the latest episode, but Iran mantains that under worldwide law it has the right to protect security in the Strait.
The Strait of Hormuz is strategically important due to the amount of oil which passes through its waters.
The incident comes amid increased tensions between the United States and Iran over re-imposed United States sanctions on Iran and comments by President Trump that he is considering cancelling the Iranian nuclear deal.
The Pentagon has previously voiced concern over a string of high-profile incidents in waters off Iran, where the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) frequently conducts risky manoeuvres around USA vessels, including some where the Americans have had to fire warning shots.
According to Davis, this type of interaction were risky and a subject of concern due to the large chance of "miscalculation or an accidental provocation".
Iran fired a medium-range ballistic missile last month, apparent violating a U.N. Security Council Resolution.
A year earlier the IRGC seized two US Navy boats in the waterway and detained all on board on Iran's Farsi Island in the Gulf.
Throughout his election campaign, Trump accused the Obama administration of being weak on Iran, and he vowed to crack down.
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