DUBAI – A U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer fired a warning flare toward an Iranian Revolutionary Guard vessel coming near it in the Persian Gulf, an American official said on Wednesday, the latest tense naval encounter between the two countries. The incident happened Monday as the vessel attempted to draw closer to the USS Mahan despite the destroyer trying to turn away from it, said Lt. Ian McConnaughey, a spokesman for the Bahrain-based 5th Fleet. The "Mahan made several attempts to contact the Iranian vessel by bridge-to-bridge radio, issuing warning messages and twice sounding the internationally recognized danger signal of five short blasts with the ship's whistle, as well as deploying a flare to determine the Iranian vessel's intentions," McConnaughey said in a statement. The Iranian vessel came within 1,000 meters (1,100 yards) of the Mahan during the incident, the lieutenant said. The vessel later turned and sailed away.
DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – A U.S. Navy patrol boat fired warning shots Tuesday near an Iranian vessel that American sailors said came dangerously close to them during a tense encounter in the Persian Gulf, the first such incident to happen under President Donald Trump. Iran's hard-line Revolutionary Guard later blamed the American ship for provoking the situation. The encounter involving the USS Thunderbolt, a Cyclone-class patrol ship based in Bahrain as part of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, is the latest confrontation between Iranian vessels and American warships. It comes as Trump already has threatened to renegotiate the nuclear deal struck by his predecessor and after his administration previously put Iran "on notice" over its ballistic missile tests. The Thunderbolt was taking part in an exercise with American and other coalition vessels in international waters when the Iranian patrol boat approached it, 5th Fleet spokesman Lt. Ian McConnaughey said.
ABOARD, THE USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH – American sailors watched as the first Revolutionary Guard vessels appeared on the horizon of the Strait of Hormuz, beginning a daylong face-off that has become familiar to both Iranian paramilitary and U.S. naval forces that pass through the narrow mouth of the Persian Gulf. But these routine, if tense encounters may soon grow even more perilous. President Donald Trump has warned that Iranian forces will be blown out of the water if they challenge U.S. naval vessels, while American commanders describe the Guard as increasingly behaving unprofessionally with rocket launches and provocative actions. Iranian hard-liners, still smarting over the nuclear detente with the West, may see a military confrontation as a way to derail moderate President Hassan Rouhani heading into the country's May presidential election. What happens next could hinge on the Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil trade by sea passes.
A U.S. aircraft carrier passed through the Strait of Hormuz Tuesday in the latest flash of naval upheaval between the country and Iran. It was also the first movement of such a vessel since President Donald Trump assumed power, Reuters reported. The USS George H.W. Bush sailed along the strait, a natural barrier between Iran and many U.S. Arab allies in the region where one-fifth of the world's oil passes. Almost 20 smaller Iranian vessels watched. Over the last several months, Iran and the U.S. Navy have had near run-ins that have exacerbated an already tense relationship over global terrorism and Iran's nuclear and defense programs.
An Iranian drone nearly collided with a U.S. Navy F-18 Super Hornet while the American jet was in a holding pattern, a U.S. defense official told Fox News. The jet was about to land aboard the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, which recently arrived in the Persian Gulf. It was the first time an Iranian drone has "interrupted a flight pattern," the official said. The F-18 "maneuvered to avoid collision," said the official, who described the unarmed Iranian drone as a Qom-1. The official described the encounter as "unsafe and unprofessional…and dangerous."