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Iran, U.S. warships engage in a tense encounter

American and Iranian warships had a tense encounter in the Gulf earlier this month, the first such incident in about a year amid wider turmoil in the region over Tehran’s tattered nuclear deal, the U.S. Navy said on Tuesday.

Footage released by the Navy showed a ship commanded by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard cut in front of the USCGC Monomoy, causing the Coast Guard vessel to come to an abrupt stop with its engine smoking on April 2.

The Guard also did the same with another Coast Guard vessel, the USCGC Wrangell, said Commodore Rebecca Rebarich, a spokeswoman for the Navy’s 5th Fleet. Such close passes risk the ships colliding at sea.

Iran did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

The interaction marked the first “unsafe and unprofessional” incident involving the Iranians since April 15, 2020, she said.

However, Iran had largely stopped such incidents in 2018 and nearly in the entirety of 2019, she said.

In 2017, the Navy recorded 14 instances of what it describes as “unsafe” interactions with Iranians.


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