A US Navy warship fired a warning flare to wave off an Iranian speedboat during a tense encounter in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, US officials say.
Three fast boats belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard came into close contact with the USS Sirocco patrol ship and USNS Choctaw County while coming through the Strait of Hormuz to enter the Persian Gulf on Monday, the Navy said.
In a video released by the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, a high-speed Iranian Boghammar is seen turning head-on toward the Sirocco. The Sirocco repeatedly blows its horn at the Boghammar, which turns away as it closes in.
The flare shot can be heard, but not seen, as the Boghammar passes the Sirocco with the Iranian flag flying above it.
The Navy said the Boghammar came within 50 yards (45 meters) of the Sirocco, raising the risk of the vessels running into each other. The overall encounter lasted about an hour, the Navy said.
The Guard’s “actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” the Navy said.
The incident on Monday involving the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Navy comes as tensions remain high over stalled negotiations over Iran’s tattered nuclear deal with world powers and as Tehran enriches uranium closer than ever to weapons-grade levels under decreasing international oversight.
Associated Press contributed to this report