The US Navy said Tuesday its forces had a tense encounter with Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in the strategic Strait of Hormuz.
The Navy’s Mideast-based 5th Fleet said three Guard vessels had an “unsafe and unprofessional” encounter as the USS Sirocco and USNS Choctaw County transited Monday through the strait, the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf.
The Navy said one of three of the Guard fast crafts raced head-on at the Sirocco before changing course. The Navy said the Sirocco fired a warning flare during the encounter as well.
“The IRGCN’s actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” the 5th Fleet said in a statement.
Iran did not immediately acknowledge the incident in the strait, through which a fifth of all oil traded passes.
It comes as tensions remain high in the region as Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers remains in tatters as negotiations over the accord are stalled. Meanwhile, Tehran’s atomic program enriches uranium at its closest levels to weapons-grade yet.
AP & Times of Israel 21 June 22