- US Navy ships in the Persian Gulf had a close encounter with three Iranian speedboats earlier this week.
- In video released by the US Navy, the Iranian boats can be seen swerving past the warships as US Navy personnel let off warnings.
- The Navy said this is the second "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter they've had with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in the last six months.
The US Navy released video of a tense encounter between a US warship and an armed Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat in the Strait of Hormuz, an strait at the entrance of the Persian Gulf.
The patrol ship USS Sirocco and the expeditionary fast transport USNS Choctaw County were on a routine transit on June 20 when three Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps boats approached the Sirocco head-on and came within 50 yards of the Choctaw County, according to US Naval Forces Central Command. The Iranian boats diverted when the Sirocco deployed a warning flare and let off an audible warning siren.
The IRGC's "actions did not meet international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision," the Navy said.
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In video released by the Navy on Tuesday, the Iranian Guard's Boghammar high speed patrol boat can be seen turning head-on to the Sirocco whle the warship repeatedly blows its horn. The flare, released by the Sirocco, can be heard as the Boghammar passes the Sirocco flying the Iranian flag — a run-in that could have compelled the US warship to use deadly force if it felt the Boghammar was a threat.
The IRGC is a force of commandos that, unlike the country's navy, reports directly to its supreme leader under the auspices of protecting the country's revolution and is responsible for operations in the Persian Gulf.
NAVCENT said this is the second "unsafe and unprofessional" encounter it has had with Iran this year. In March, US Navy and US Coast Guard vessels had a terse encounter with three IRGC ships for over two hours as they traveled from the Persian Gulf through the Strait of Hormuz. The Navy said in that incident the Guard's catamaran came within 25 yards of the US Coast Guard's fast-response cutter Robert Goldman, raising significant risk of the vessels running into each other.
The March encounter was not announced by the Navy until footage of this week's encounter was made public.