Tehran: A US spy ship being escorted by Royal Navy vessels was forced to do an about turn after a close encounter with Iran’s lethal high-speed attack boats.
Details have emerged this evening of the seaborne drama which unfolded in the Strait of Hormuz on Saturday.
It came as Iran reportedly test fired two anti-ship Fateh-110 short-range ballistic at barges located nearby.
The missiles pose a direct risk to US and British warships operating in the Persian Gulf and this is thought to be why the tests were being closely observed.
A US official has confirmed multiple fast-attack vessels from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps speeded close to a U.S. Navy ship on Saturday, forcing it to change direction.
The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the IRGCN boats came within 600 yards of the USNS Invincible, a tracking ship, and stopped. The Invincible was being accompanied by three ships from British Royal Navy and forced the formation to change course.
It is unclear at this stage which UK warships were involved in the mission. The official said attempts were made to communicate over radio, but there was no response and the interaction was “unsafe and unprofessional.”
The incident comes amid a standoff between Iranian regime and Donald Trump after US imposed sanctions in response Iran’s previous missile tests in February.
The US President Trump tweeted: “Iran is playing with fire – they don’t appreciate how ‘kind’ President Obama was to them. Not me!”
But, responding to the tweet Iran’s foreign minister said his country will “never initiate war” despite facing threats, in reference to US warnings over its missile tests.
The war of words, played out over social media, comes after US national security adviser, Michael Flynn, said the administration was putting Iran “on notice” for its missile test Sunday and for supporting Shiite rebels in Yemen.