The U.S. Navy released a video of Iranian naval vessels in the North Arabian Sea and alleged that the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy speedboats "conducted dangerous and harassing" maneuvers in close proximity to American ships.
On Wednesday, six U.S. Navy and Coast Guard ships encountered 11 IRGC Navy ships in international waters. At one point, an armed Iranian ship came within 10 yards of a U.S. Coast Guard cutter. The U.S. Navy accused the IRGC of "dangerous and provocative actions."
According to the U.S. Navy, Iranian speedboats "repeatedly crossed the bows and sterns of the U.S. vessels at extremely close range and high speeds." The Navy asserted that the IRGCN's repeated maneuvers "increased the risk of miscalculation and collision."
Initial assessments indicate #IRGCN vessels' closest points of approach were 50 yards from #USSLewisBPuller & 10 yaâ�¦ https://t.co/E4lh6VF3RI— U.S. Navy (@U.S. Navy)1586991540.0
The Navy also stated that the Iranian boats "were not in accordance with the internationally recognized Convention on the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions at Sea (COLREGS) 'rules of the road' or internationally recognized maritime customs, and were not in accordance with the obligation under international law to act with due regard for the safety of other vessels in the area."
The U.S. Navy crews issued multiple warnings, but the Iranian vessels did not respond. After about an hour, the Iranian ships navigated away from the U.S. vessels.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faced questions about the incident during a Fox News interview and whether he had consulted the Pentagon about the encounter.
"We've talked as a team. We're evaluating how best to respond and how best to communicate our displeasure with what ... took place," Pompeo responded.
Iran has yet to comment on the incident.
The encounter came one day after a Hong Kong-flagged tanker was briefly detained by armed speedboats believed to be members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy. The SC Taipei chemical tanker, which was bound for Saudi Arabia, was stopped in international waters in the Gulf of Oman on Tuesday. The tanker was directed into Iranian waters and then released near the Strait of Hormuz.
#Iran ð��®ð��·: Oil #tanker reportedly seized by Iran in Strait of Hormuz on Apr. 14, 2020. - Hong Kong flagged â��SC Taipâ�¦ https://t.co/swlHSzBlBS— Intelligence Fusion -Asia (@Intelligence Fusion -Asia)1586895572.0
On the same day as the IRGC incident with U.S. ships, the Navy reported an "unsafe" and "irresponsible" encounter with a Russian fighter jet that put American pilots "at risk." On Wednesday, a U.S. Navy P-8A Poseidon aircraft was flying in international airspace over the Mediterranean Sea. The P-8A Poseidon, which is an anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare aircraft, was intercepted by a Russian SU-35 fighter jet.
The Navy claimed that the SU-35 conducted a "high-speed, inverted maneuver, 25 ft. directly in front of the mission aircraft." The intercept lasted 42 minutes and the P-8A Poseidon was "operating consistent with international law and did not provoke this Russian activity," according to the U.S. Navy.
JUST IN: Unsafe Russian Intercept over Mediterranean Sea. Details: https://t.co/pinFl2GGEa https://t.co/P7OPshzkvS— U.S. Navy (@U.S. Navy)1587042006.0