- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps on Monday announced that it has drastically upgraded the range of its anti-warship missiles to boast a range of up to 700 kilometers, or 430 miles.

The IRGC’s top naval officer, Adm. Ali Reza Tangsiri told state-run IRNA news agency that the paramilitary group now has surface-to-surface and subsurface anti-warship missiles with more than double the range of such weapons it had last year.

The move comes less than a week after nearly a dozen IRGC Navy boats made several “dangerous and harassing approaches” to U.S. warships conducting joint operations with Army attack helicopters in international waters, U.S. military officials said.

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.

On Monday, the IRGC acknowledged the close encounter with the U.S. ships in the Persian Gulf, The Associated Press reported.

Tensions between the U.S. and Iran have skyrocketed in recent months after the U.S. killed a top Iranian military commander, which led Iran to launch a missile strike on a U.S. military base in Iraq.

• Lauren Toms can be reached at lmeier@washingtontimes.com.

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