U.S. Says Iranian Boats Harrassed U.S. Warship Near Strait Of Hormuz
August 25, 2016
Four Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps vessels "harassed" a U.S. warship near the Strait of Hormuz, U.S. defense officials said on August 24.
Admiral John Richardson said no missiles were fired in the incident, but it illustrated the continuing military tensions with Tehran. Last December, Iranian ships fired rockets near a U.S. warship in the Strait of Hormuz.
Officials said on August 23, two Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze while it was in international waters in what they called an "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter.
They said vessels harassed the destroyer despite repeated warnings. The USS Nitze tried to communicate with the Iranian vessels 12 times, but received no response. It also fired 10 flares in the direction of two of the Iranian vessels, they said.
"The Iranian high rate of closure...created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation, including additional defensive measures by Nitze," one official told Reuters.
Nitze had to change course in order to distance itself from the Iranian vessels, the officials said, adding that the incident could have led to a diplomatic protest, but the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran.
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters
Copyright (c) 2016. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.
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