Iranian vessels 'harass' US Navy ship: Pentagon

Maxine SotoMar 08, 2017

Several fast-attack ships from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came close to a U.S. navy ship in the Strait of Hormoz over the weekend, forcing it to change direction, according to the Reuters News Agency. The official said the Iranian boats tried to get between the USA and other ships, coming within about 600 yards of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship.

Earlier, an Iranian vessel attempted to position itself between the Invincible and a British ship. After tightening sanctions against Iran in response to a ballistic missile test, White House officials said the measures were an "initial" step.

A CBS report indicated that Iran had sent a frigate that closed to within 150 yards of the spy ship while in the Gulf of Oman, just south of the Strait of Hormuz.

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The official was not authorized to discuss the incident publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

The Invincible is one of two missile range instrumentation vessels operated by Military Sealift Command in support of the U.S. Air Force (not Navy).

The Iranian Revolutionary Guard has said it would close the Strait of Hormuz, most recently last May, if the face of threats from the United States and its allies.

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During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump vowed that Iranian ships which intimidate the US Navy would be "shot out the water" under his rule.

The Strait of Hormuz is off the Iranian coast, east of the Persian Gulf. In January, a U.S. Navy destroyer USS Mahan fired several warning shots at Iranian patrol boats that came toward it in the Strait of Hormuz.

Similar incidents between the U.S. and Iran has occurred earlier.

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According to Fox News, Iran test-fired a pair of ballistic missiles into the Gulf of Oman over the weekend.

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