Vessels of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy came into dangerously close proximity to American vessels in international waters in the north Arabian Gulf, the US Navy said in a statement earlier this week.
The navy said that, at approximately 20:00 local time on Monday, April 26, three IRGCN fast inshore attack craft (FIAC) failed to exercise due regard for the safety of other vessels as required under international law after they rapidly approached the patrol coastal ship USS Firebolt and the US Coast Guard patrol boat Baranoff.
The closest point of approach between the US and Iranian vessels was reportedly 68 yards (62 metres), US officials added.
The US crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close-range manoeuvres. The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the US vessels.
The navy said that, throughout the interaction, US forces proactively communicated with the IRGCN vessels and executed pre-planned responses to reduce the risk of miscalculation, avoid a collision, and to de-escalate the situation.
Firebolt and Baranoff were conducting routine maritime security operations in international waters during the time of the incident.
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