Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have accused a US Coast Guard ship of “provocation” after it fired warning shots against Iranian military boats that approached it in the Gulf.
The Pentagon on Monday said the US Coast Guard ship Maui fired about 30 warning shots after 13 fast boats from the Revolutionary Guards’ navy came close to it and other American Navy vessels in the Strait of Hormuz at the mouth of the Gulf.
However, a Revolutionary Guards statement has accused US ships of “unprofessional behaviour such as flying helicopters, firing flares and aimless and provocative shooting”.
“It would be better for the Americans to avoid unprofessional behaviour and not to endanger the security of the Persian Gulf by obeying the rules and regulations of the sea,” said the statement carried by Iranian media.
Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said on Monday the Iranian vessels had been acting “very aggressively” and that warning shots were fired after the Iranian boats came as close as 140 metres from six US military vessels, including the USS Monterey, that were escorting the guided-missile submarine Georgia.
It was the second time within the last month that US military vessels have fired warning shots because of what they said was unsafe behaviour by Iranian vessels in the region, after a relative lull in such interactions over the past year.