Iranian fast boats force United States navy ship to alter course

The U.S. Navy surveillance ship Invincible was approached by several vessels from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on Saturday while sailing in the Strait of Hormuz. Above a stock image of the Invincible

The U.S. Navy surveillance ship Invincible was approached by several vessels from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard on Saturday while sailing in the Strait of Hormuz. Above a stock image of the Invincible

The Iranian fleet forced the formation to change course on Saturday 4 March, report Reuters.

On Saturday, the American missile tracking vessel USNS Invincible and three accompanying vessels were forced to change course because of the approach of Iranian fast-attack boats.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the official indicated that the vessels advanced to within 600 yards of the tracking ship, USNS Invincible before stopping. Navy destroyer fired multiple warning shots at Iranian patrol boats as they sped toward the destroyer in the Strait of Hormuz "with their weapons manned". A U.S. Navy official told the wire service that similar encounters with Iranian ships were occurring more regularly.

According to Davis, this type of interaction were risky and a subject of concern due to the large chance of "miscalculation or an accidental provocation".

Tensions between the United States and Iran have increased since the election of Donald Trump, whose administration put Iran "on notice" over its recent ballistic missile tests.

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A year earlier the IRGC seized two US Navy boats in the waterway and detained all on board on Iran's Farsi Island in the Gulf.

In this December 29, 2016 file, released by the semi-official Iranian Students News Agency, a long-range S-200 missile is fired in a military drill in the Iranian port city of Bushehr, on the northern coast of Persian Gulf. "Not me!" President Trump tweeted after the missile test was first reported.

In November, a small Iranian vessel allegedly pointed a gun at a US Navy helicopter in the Strait of Hormuz, in worldwide waters, according to the Pentagon.

After Washington and Tehran reached a deal on Iran's nuclear ambitions in 2015 tensions between them eased.

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