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Iranian State TV Airs Separate Video on US Ship Incident in Gulf

By VOA News
10 January 2008

Iran's state television broadcast Thursday video footage it says was filmed by Iranian forces during an incident with U.S. Navy ships in the Persian Gulf on Sunday.

The video aired on an English-language channel Press TV shows a man speaking into a handheld radio, with three U.S. ships seen in the distance.

The footage, apparently aimed at countering a U.S. Defense Department video of the incident, did not show any Iranian boats approaching the American vessels.

The Pentagon video released earlier this week shows several small boats swarming around U.S. warships in the Strait of Hormuz. On an audio tape, a man speaking heavily-accented English says the ships will explode in minutes.

On Wednesday, President Bush, speaking in Jerusalem, warned Iran of "serious consequences" if it attacks U.S. ships and says all options are on the table to protect American assets.

The U.S. has accused Iranian boats of aggressively approaching American Navy vessels.

Iranian officials have accused the U.S. military of fabricating its video footage

An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman acknowledged the incident. But he dismissed U.S. concerns about the standoff, saying this type of situation occasionally happens and is resolved after "the two sides identify each other."

The Strait of Hormuz is a key shipping route for oil. Both the Iranian and U.S. navies patrol the waterway.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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