A US military ship fired warning shots after three vessels from Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) came close to it and another American patrol boat in the Gulf, the United States military said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
"The US crews issued multiple warnings via bridge-to-bridge radio and loud-hailer devices, but the IRGCN vessels continued their close range maneuvers," the military said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
"The crew of Firebolt then fired warning shots, and the IRGCN vessels moved away to a safe distance from the US vessels," the statement added.
In the last few years there have been several close encounters between Iranian and American vessels in the Persian Gulf. The Revolutionary Guard typically patrols the shallower waters of the Persian Gulf and its narrow mouth, the Strait of Hormuz.
One such incident in May of 2020 included a tense encounter between US and Iranian ships in the Persian Gulf.
The US military said at the time that 11 Revolutionary Guards naval vessels from the Guards navy came close to US Navy and coast guard ships in the Gulf, calling the moves “dangerous and provocative”.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard acknowledged that the incident had taken place, but also claimed that it was American forces who sparked the incident.
In April of 2020, a spokesman for the Iranian Armed Forces said that the Islamic Republic will respond “severely” if US vessels violate its territorial waters.