Iranian Vessels ‘Harass’ U.S. Destroyer in High Speed Intercept

One of the five military vessels from Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps that approached a U.S. warship hosting one of America's top generals on a day trip through the Strait of Hormuz is pictured in this July 11, 2016 handout photo. U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS
U.S. Navy/Handout via REUTERS

(Reuters) Four vessels from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) “harassed” a U.S. destroyer on Tuesday by carrying out a “high speed intercept” in the vicinity of the Strait of Hormuz, a U.S. defense official said on Wednesday.

The official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said two of the Iranian vessels came within 300 yards of the USS Nitze in an incident that was “unsafe and unprofessional.”

“The Iranian high rate of closure…created a dangerous, harassing situation that could have led to further escalation including additional defensive measures by Nitze,” the official said.

The IRGC, the Islamic Republic’s praetorian guard, is suspicious of U.S. military activity near Iran’s borders. The Guards operate land and naval units separate from the regular armed forces and stage frequent war games in the Gulf, which separates Iran from its regional rival Saudi Arabia and a U.S. naval base in Bahrain.

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