- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Nearly a dozen boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy made several “dangerous and harassing approaches” to U.S. warships conducting joint operations with Army attack helicopters in international waters, officials with the U.S. 5th Fleet said Wednesday.

The IRGC Navy boats repeatedly crossed in front of and behind the U.S. ships at close range and at high speed. One of the Iranian boats came within 10 yards of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Maui, officials said.

The U.S. crews issued several warnings. They called out over the radios, used the ships’ horns along with long-range acoustic noise devices but got no response from the Iranians, officials said.

The Iranian boats continued their actions for about an hour before responding to the radio calls and pulling away, officials said.

“The (Iranian Navy’s) dangerous and provocative actions increased the risk of miscalculation and collision,” U.S. officials said in a statement. “U.S. naval forces continue to remain vigilant and trained to act in a professional manner while our commanding officers retain the inherent right to act in self-defense.”

The U.S. ships involved were the USS Lewis B. Puller, the USS Paul Hamilton, the USS Firebolt, the USS Sirocco, the USCGC Wrangell and the USCGC Maui.

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