Iranian boats harass US Navy in the Persian Gulf, again

Iranian Revolutionary Coast Guard patrol boats have forced a U.S. Navy ship to undertake evasive maneuvers on Sunday in the latest instance of altercation between the two sides.

According to reports, seven Iranian patrol boats emerged from behind fishing dhows to conduct fast approaches toward the U.S. Navy patrol ship USS Firebolt, coming within 500 yards of the ship.

One of the boats stopped directly on USS Firebolt’s route forcing the ship to veer off course to avoid a collision. Attempts to establish radio communication went unanswered, U.S. Navy officials said.

According to ABC News, the boats also tried to approach USS Dwight D Eisenhower which was sailing south of USS Firebolt, but failed to do so as the aircraft carrier was too fast.

Similar encounters took place 31 times this year, Reuters reported. Most recently, a U.S. Navy ship was forced to fire warning shots to fend off fast approaching Iranian boats.

“This is clearly a pattern, and it’s one we’re not happy about, and we’d like to see this sort of behavior stop,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis was quoted as saying by Reuters.