US Navy fires warning flare at Iran vessel in Persian Gulf

Destroyer forced to alter course by Iranian vessel
U.S. Navy via Wiki Media Commons USS Mahan
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27 April, 2017

Of the incidents a year ago, the worst involved Iranian forces capturing 10 US sailors and holding them overnight.

Lt. Ian McConnaughey, of the Bahrain-based 5 Fleet, confirmed the incident and said the Iranian boat had come within 1,000 meters of the USS Mahan.

The Mahan, a guided missile destroyer, managed to dodge the Iranian ship and avoid a clash.

Iranian authorities did not immediately report the incident, but Iran's foreign minister appeared to reference it in a tweet Wednesday.

The Iranian vessel later sailed away.

The "provocative" Iranian vessel came within just 1,000 yards of the USS Mahan in the Persian Gulf on Monday, according to USA officials.

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The Iranian ship did not come closer than 1000 yards and no warning shots were fired.

Similarly, Defense officials said at the time that they had first attempted to alter the oncoming ship's course with radio calls, flares, bells and whistles, CNN adds.

Commander Bill Urban said the vessels ignored warnings and "continued to directly approach Mahan at a high rate of speed", prompting "three warning shots with a crew-served.50-caliber machine gun".

The U.S. and Iran routinely have tense encounters in the Persian Gulf and the nearby Strait of Hormuz, through which a third of all oil traded by sea passes. In 2016, after the Obama deal was signed, 35 incidents with Iranian military forces that were deemed as either "unsafe" or unprofessional occurred.

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