Washington claims Iranian boats approached US ships in PG

TEHRAN, Jun. 21 (MNA) – A Washington military official has claimed that three fast-attack craft belonging to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) dangerously approached two US ships in the Persian Gulf.

Three vessels belonging to the IRGC came within 50 yards of the two American ships at “dangerously high speed", the US official claimed.

The USS Sirocco, a Cyclone-class patrol ship, and the USNS Choctaw County, a fast transport vessel, were in routine transit through international waters in the Persian Gulf when three Iranian boats designed for a fast attack approached the Sirocco head on, Washington Post quoted the military official as saying.

According to a US military official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, they diverted only after the Sirocco issued an audible warning signal. The Iranian boats also came within 50 yards of the Choctaw County, prompting the Sirocco to deploy a warning flare.

The Iranian navy’s actions “did not meet the international standards of professional or safe maritime behavior, increasing the risk of miscalculation and collision,” claimed Col. Joseph Buccino, spokesman for US Central Command. “CENTCOM forces will continue to fly, sail and operate anywhere in the area of responsibility international law allows while promoting regional stability.”

Monday’s dramatic interaction, lasting about an hour, ended when the Iranian ships departed the area, officials said.

Iranian officials have not yet responded to the US allegations.

MNA/FNA14010331000023

News Code 188231

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