Navy destroyer has close encounter with Iranian vessel in Persian Gulf

Of the incidents a year ago, the most severe involved Iranian forces capturing 10 USA sailors who had mistakenly steered their boats into Iranian waters and holding them overnight.

Iran views the USA presence in the area as a provocation and the Revolutionary Guard occasionally fires missiles or rockets near us ships.

The USS Mahan, a guided-missile destroyer of the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet, had an Iranian vessel racing close to it up to a distance of 1000 meters.

The Mahan, a guided missile destroyer, managed to dodge the Iranian ship and avoid a clash.

US officials said an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps ship came within about 3,000 feet of the USS Mahan destroyer in the Persian Gulf.

The USS Mahan had a similar clash with the Iranian navy in January. The incident is the most recent evidence of escalating hostilities between America and Iran.

US Defense officials said at the time that despite radio calls, flares, bells and whistles to signal the Iranian ships to stay away, they had no effect. The paramilitary Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) finally turned away and sailed off after the warning shot was sacked, ABC News reports.

US military officials described the Iranians' behavior as "unprofessional, but also provocative" as they clarified the details of the incident.

A third of all oil vessels pass through the strait of Hormuz, the narrow strategic link between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf.

The encounter follows comments by Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, who criticised the Iran's human rights record, accused the nation of sponsoring terrorists and remained sceptical of their long-term nuclear ambitions. Including the latest incident on Monday, there have been seven so far in 2017, Lt McConnaughey said.

  • Marlene Weaver