Once again, Iranian patrol boats have operated close to a U.S. warship in an unsafe manner.
This time, four armed boats of the IRGCN (the Revolutionary Guard Navy) approached USS Nitze(DDG-94), an Arleigh Burke-class Aegis destroyer, in international waters in the Persian Gulf, between the coast of the UAE and the Iranian island of Abu Musa.
The Navy posted a short video online from the incident, which occurred on 23 August. The video is below. The incident was described to Reuters by an unnamed U.S. defense official:
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said on Wednesday that two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an incident that was “unsafe and unprofessional.”
The vessels harassed the destroyer by “conducting a high speed intercept and closing within a short distance of Nitze, despite repeated warnings,” the official said. …
The U.S. defense official said that in Tuesday’s incident 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.
“The Iranian high rate of closure… created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation, including additional defensive measures by Nitze,” the official said.
USS Nitze had to change course in order to distance itself from the Iranian vessels, the official said, adding that the incident could have led to a diplomatic protest, but the United States does not have diplomatic relations with Iran.