US Navy patrols Persian Gulf
US Navy patrols Persian Gulf US Navy

In a dangerous naval interaction, a US Navy patrol ship was forced to change course after a fast attack craft from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps came within 91 meters of it in the central Persian Gulf on Sunday, two US Defense Department officials told Reuters on Tuesday.

The Defense Department officials said the Iranian vessel sailed directly in front of the USS Firebolt, forcing the (53-meter) American ship to change course.

According to one of the officials, the Iranian vessel's conduct was "unsafe and unprofessional due to lack of communications and the close-range harassing maneuvering,"

Uncovered weapons were seen on the Iranian vessel, though they were also unmanned

The U.S. ship had tried to communicate with the Iranian ship by radio three times but received no response.

In a similar incident in late August, a US Navy ship fired warning shots toward an Iranian fast-attack craft that was approaching two American vessels.

It is yet unclear whether the incident was a result of mere negligence or a deliberate provocation by the Iranians.