A U.S. Navy warship fired a warning flare at an Iranian speedboat amid tensions in the strategic Strait of Hormuz, U.S. officials said.
The U.S. Navy said three Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboats made close contact with the patrol ship USS Siroc and the aircraft carrier USS Choctaw as they entered the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz on Monday.
In a video released by the Navy’s 5th Fleet based in Bahrain, a high-speed Iranian Boghammar can be seen heading towards Sirocco. Sirocco kept blowing his horn to Boghammar, turning away as he approached.
As Boghammar drove past Sirocco, the flare could be heard but not seen, with the Iranian flag flying above it.
The Navy said the Boghammar was within 50 yards (45 meters) of Sirocco, increasing the risk of a collision. The entire encounter lasted about an hour, the Navy said.
The Navy said the Guard’s “actions did not meet international standards for professional or safe maritime conduct, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collisions”.
Monday’s incident involving Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and Navy comes as Tehran’s enrichment of uranium is closer than ever to weapons-grade levels as negotiations over a tattered nuclear deal between Iran and world powers stall, and as international oversight dwindles level, tensions remain high.
The Associated Press contributed to this report