Pentagon says Iran provoked US warships
Posted on: 01:32 PM IST Jan 14, 2012
Washington: As tensions mounted in the Persian Gulf, Iranian Navy high-speed boats taunted two US vessels earlier this month in the Strait of Hormuz.
The US Department of Defence on Friday claimed that Iranian patrolling vessels in the Persian Gulf have provoked its war ships, the CNN said.
CNN's Pentagon correspondent Barbara Star, quoting anonymous officials from the Department of Defence, said there were two disturbing close encounters between Iranian navy boats and US warships in the Strait of Hormuz and in the Persian Gulf.
According to the news report, the navy warship "USS New Orleans" was going through the Strait of Hormuz last Friday when three Iranian speedboats approached it at high speed and came within 500 yards of high-speed within the range of this navy warship.
The navy warship signaled the Iranians to back off. They ignored all signals.
"That is in opposition to standard maritime procedures," CNN said, adding that eventually they did break away.
Another incident, the same day, involved a US Coast Guard cutter off the Kuwaiti coast. It was just about 75 miles east of Kuwait when it was harassed by high-speed Iranian boats, small boats.
That came at also at high-speed, CNN reported. The personnel on board the coast guard cutter said that they observed Iranians with AK-47s, and they believe one of the machine guns at the front of one of those Iranian speed boats was pointed right at them.
Eventually, a larger Iranian naval vessel intervened and the small speedboats backed off, said the news channel, which also showed the video footage made available to it by the Department of Defense.
According to CNN these types of encounters are extremely concerning to the US Navy.